The new season of the Formula E all-electric racing series is nearly here … with just a day or so left until the races of the last series (before a major overhaul of the vehicles and protocols used begins).
To hype the approaching beginning of the action, Formula E has released a new promo video showing a Formula E race car “competing” against a tame cheetah — the fastest land animal in the world, it should be remembered, and also an animal that seems to be rapidly approaching extinction (with sub-populations throughout Asia and the Middle East now effectively gone in most cases). (As a side note to that, before people in Europe get too smug — there used to be cheetahs in Europe as well…)
Here’s the video (enjoy):
Reuters provides more: “With an acceleration of 0-100 kph (62 mph) the cheetah is about as quick off the line as the Techeetah team’s racing car, and their French driver Jean-Eric Vergne — winner of July’s Montreal E-Prix — agreed to take on an apparently tame 4-footed opponent in a drag race.”
“Video provided by Formula E shows the cheetah taking a lead off the line but eventually losing narrowly to the car, which has a top speed of 225 kph (139 mph) compared to the animal’s maximum of about 112 kpm (70 mph). … A graphic at the end of the short film, which was shot on a landing strip in a remote part of South Africa’s Western Cape, assures viewers no animals were abused or mistreated in the production.”
To add to the earlier comments about the seeming approaching extinction of the animal, the primary driver of the cheetah’s decline has been a loss of habitat — the animals, you see, require rather large territories to maintain themselves and are thus easily displaced by human activities and the accompanying effects (loss of prey animals). Direct killings by humans is a more limited contributing factor, but is definitely still a reality. There are only around 6,700 wild cheetahs left in the world.
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