Normally, you can find half a dozen or so dogs (and a giant tortoise) wandering around the agency. But on Friday, the atrium showcased an extremely rare king cheetah (note the stripes on the back) courtesy of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). Its entire body evolved for speed, the cheetah can run up to 70 mph. It’s also the only big cat that purrs. Everyone’s kids were invited to see the world’s fastest land animal and hear how to help save it, with a special appearance by Dr. Laurie Marker. Laurie’s an Oregonian who learned nothing was being done to save this endangered big cat, so she decided to do it herself. She moved to Namibia and started CCF in 1990. Since doing so, she’s been named a TIME magazine Hero for the Planet, as well as featured in lots of magazines, like Smithsonian. And this year, Dr. Marker won the Society of Woman Geographers Gold Medal. You may have never heard of that, but you’ve probably heard of past recipients like Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, Mary Leakey, and Jane Goodall.
If you want to help or learn more, go to www.cheetah.org.
If your dog is still missing, go to www.dogsareslowerthancheetahs.org.