Kruger Park Cheetahs Speak Out Against Speed Traps

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[[ actively endorses safe following distances and driving speeds on South African roads - we would like to encourage safe and respectful traveling on all roads and in all national parks, especially over the holidays. We also acknowledge the importance of the Kruger Park's acquisition of its new traffic cameras, and wish them all the best in their endeavors.]]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Earlier this week, traffic officers working for the Kruger National Park unveiled the master tool in their December crackdown on reckless driving on the park's roads: a long awaited, much needed set of brand new speed cameras. The traffic office was responding to complaints of inconsiderate and speeding drivers, aiming at implementing the scheme in time for the heavy traffic of the December period.In a bizarre twist, the move has drawn heavy criticism from the nature reserve's two-hundred strong cheetah population, who have cited discrimination and a "specist agenda" on part of park officials. The big cat has stated in interviews before that its primary mode of transport has always been its feet, and that "those are always set to fast."

Pictured: Cheetah

Speed: Whoah!

The Cheetah, or Acinonyx jubatus, is a member of the cat family unique for both its speed and controversial opinions on the national road safety policy. When asked at a christmas party in 2008 what he considered a safe following distance, one cheetah proceeded to maul a prominent local news reporter before overturning a bowl of punch, insulting the hostess, and grabbing the wrong jacket at the coat rack on his way out. "It doesn't concern us," said a representative for the Cheetahs Union of South Africa (CUSA), "we have always been light on our feet. Cheetahs know what they're doing out there on the roads - what these speed cameras are doing is harassment. It's very upsetting."

Traffic Cameras: Sinister

The cheetah is understood to be the fastest land animal on earth, able to reach speeds of between 112 and 120 km/h, in short bursts of up to 460 m. Its acceleration takes it from 0 to 103 km/h in three seconds, faster than most supercars. With cameras and patrols in place, this speedy cat's slick land speeds would be literally cut in half and, just like any regular driver on a city road, they would be liable to a fine if caught out. "The cost of living's high enough as it is, now I have to worry about some bloody fine every time I want to turn on the turbo," one cat said, panting in the heat after an afternoon run. "It isn't fair - nobody ever fines lions! No, it's all just 'king of the jungle this' and 'I loved you in the lion king' that." Racial tensions between the two cats are expected to mount as a result of this discrepancy.Talks between park officials and the cats have been stunted due to "unexpected hairball issues" and what the cheetahs are calling a "stubborn need to control every little thing" on behalf of the park.

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