The world's fastest man adopted the animal kingdom's fastest sprinter Monday, as Usain Bolt welcomed a new baby cheetah named Lightning Bolt into his life.
The Jamaican sprinter's sponsorship of the 3-month-old male cheetah is part of an effort to boost Kenyan conservation efforts of its famous wildlife, whose survival is threatened by trophy hunting, climate change and human encroachment.
The world record-holder in the 100 and 200 meters paid $13,700
to formally adopt the cub. He will also pay $3,000 a year to care
for Lighting Bolt, who will be raised at an animal orphanage in
The money will go to the Kenya Wildlife Service, and some will
be used to protect Kenya's endangered species, KWS director Julius
Bolt was joined on the trip by Colin Jackson, a former 110-meter
hurdles Olympic champion, and Jochen Zeitz, the chief executive of
athletic gear manufacturer Puma. Zietz made the visit to launch his
charity's campaign to preserve ecosystems.
Jackson adopted a 2-year-old eland, the largest of the antelope
Bolt, who was on a four-day visit to Kenya, said Friday he was
looking forward to seeing Kenya's diverse wildlife, but was scared
of meeting lions.
He nearly ran away when asked Monday to pet a fully grown
cheetah named Sharon for a photo shoot with Kenyan Prime Minister
Raila Odinga. Bolt had Zeitz stand in for him, until he saw that
Sharon seemed harmless.
The world record holder appeared more comfortable later while
handling his baby cheetah, which was the size of a fully grown
domestic cat. He cradled the fuzzy-headed cub while feeding it
bottled milk as cameramen snapped away.
When asked if he was afraid of cheetahs, Bolt said: "Yes, I
was, but not anymore."
Lighting Bolt is among three cubs rescued by KWS officials after
their mother abandoned them in a game park.
Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.