Cheetahs in captivity still want to run and chase things, so the caretakers at Oregon Zoo made a custom-built a catapult that launches balls from one end of the cheetah habitat to the other. The cheetahs get a treat when they fetch a ball.
Via the zoo:
A custom-made contraption has catapulted the Oregon Zoo’s cheetahs toward a new level of fitness. Dubbed the “cheetahpult,” it’s an 8-foot wooden device that flings a ball far enough for a cheetah — the fastest land animal on earth — to chase. After more conventional ball launchers fell short, the cheetahpult was designed and built by staff members with the zoo’s speediest residents in mind.
“I tried hitting balls for them with a tennis racket, but I could tell they wanted to run farther and faster,” said Beth Foster, a keeper at the Oregon Zoo and one of the designers of the cheetahpult. “Now that I can fling the balls to the far end of their habitat, everyone’s having a lot more fun.”
The cheetahpult is a hand-cranked machine that launches lightweight plastic balls up to 150 feet into the cheetah habitat in the zoo’s Predators of the Serengeti area. Foster sets it up outside of the habitat and sends the balls inside, where Darlene and Mary Jane, the zoo’s two cheetahs, chase and retrieve them. When they’re ready for another round, they drop the balls in a bucket.
• Cheetahs Chase Balls Flung by "Cheetahpult" (YouTube / Oregon Zoo)
A unicorn of the sea somehow ended up separated from other narwhals. Luckily, the lost narwhal was welcomed into a pod of beluga whales, where they were spotted frolicking in the St. Lawrence River.
Because of its ubiquity, the landscape is littered with proposed etymologies of the term “OK.” This nice explainer clarifies the murky origins of one of the most widely spoken words in the world.
In the 1950s, Soviet zoologist Dmitry Belyayev began selectively breeding wild foxes based on how friendly they were. The result is a semi-domesticated red fox, five of which now live in California.
The human eye is a beautiful, incredible thing, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to examining objects up close. Capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times, this portable microscope camera lets you see wonders hidden to your regular vision, and it’s on sale today for $38.99. Don’t let its compact size fool […]
There’s no shortage of apps available for your Mac, and, while it’s great to have options, this overabundance makes it difficult to find the apps worth installing on your computer. Thankfully, there’s the Pay What You Want: The Ultimate Mac Bundle ft. 2Do to simplify the process, which boasts 10 of the best Mac apps out […]
Sleek, minimalist, and convenient, Apple’s AirPods are a popular pick for those looking to upgrade to Bluetooth audio, but not everyone can afford the hefty $160 price tag. Whether you’re on a budget or just want something a little different, we’ve rounded up four pieces of audio gear that make for convenient Bluetooth listening, and […]