Broadcaster David Attenborough meets cheetah at Huntingdonshire zoo

13:54 26 August 2014

Sir David Attenborough with cheetah Ares.

Sir David Attenborough with cheetah Ares.


Veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough met one of Huntingdonshire’s speediest residents as part of a new series of one of his much-loved wildlife documentaries.

The natural history programme maker – responsible for landmark BBC shows such as Life on Earth and The Living Planet – visited Hamerton Zoo Park, near Sawtry, to film an episode of David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities.

Ares, a 13-year-old male cheetah, will feature in the show, which will be broadcast on television channels Eden and Watch in spring next year.

Sir David had the opportunity to sit with Ares – who was hand-reared and is comfortable around people – while he filmed a piece to camera about how cheetahs are built for speed and are capable of running at up to 70 miles per hour in short bursts.

Visitors could catch a glimpse of the action, although the area was cordoned off to allow the film crew to carry out their work.

While they eventually attracted some attention, most guests were not aware that Sir David was at the zoo. During breaks in filming head keeper Katherine Adams was able to chat to him, and he signed books for a number of 
staff members.

Christine Bristow, education officer at the zoo, said: “I went round talking to some of them [the visitors] and when they found out the reason that we had roped off this little part they were really excited.

“It was a day of great excitement for us as zoo staff and keepers and a great honour to have him here.

“We were particularly pleased to hear it was his first actual contact with a live cheetah.”

Sir David joins Sir John Major, plus Michaela Strachan and Terry Nutkins from the long-running children’s television programme The Really Wild Show, which was broadcast from 1986-2006, as notable visitors of the zoo.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hunts Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hunts Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hunts Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:20
Reggie and Bollie

People in St Neots are getting behind X-Factor duo Reggie and Bollie.

Yesterday, 12:44
The cast of Snow White outside the Commemoration Hall

Pantomime season is almost upon us and we have a family ticket to give away for KD Theatre Productions’ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon.

Yesterday, 10:00
Barry Farrugia

A St Neots father-of-three whose family was torn apart by a health scandal which claimed thousands of lives has called on the government to deliver its pre-election promise to make amends for years of suffering.

Fri, 16:01
£33k milestone for the Woodlands Centre, (l-r) volunteers Sheena Wilkinson, Liz Hardy, Miranda Knell, Di Pooley-Coles, Kathy Rogers, Marie Shepperson,

The Macmillan Cancer Support fund-raising committee in Huntingdon is celebrating after reaching an important milestone.

The North Pole Cambridge Christmas Festival is back in style throughout the festive season. This annual icy extravaganza is centred around a stunning 600m open-air ice rink, great for a fun filled day out with family & friends.

Read more

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition