World's fastest man adopts world's fastest animal

Mon Nov 2, 2009 10:29am EST

NAIROBI Nov 2 (Reuters) - Olympic and world sprint champion Usain Bolt on Monday adopted a cheetah cub in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

The head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Julius Kipng'etich, described the event as "the first time in history where the fastest animal and the fastest man will meet."

Bolt, who had said previously he was scared of cheetahs as they could out-run him, said he changed his mind as he bottle-fed the two-month-old cub over his shoulder.

Cheetahs are some of the world's fastest and most skilled predators, able to reach speeds of up to 112 km (70 miles) per hour. The Jamaican sprinter's new cub has been named Lightning Bolt.

Bolt was accompanied by Welsh hurdler Colin Jackson who adopted an eland, and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga who has previously adopted two lions.

Odinga used the occasion to remind Kenyans that it was their "civic duty" to preserve the country's diverse wildlife, not just for tourism, but for future generations.

He described the event as a "refreshing" opportunity to talk about sport and wildlife conservation rather than politics, in a country that has faced huge political challenges in recent years.

Bolt has been touring Kenya since last Friday as a sports ambassador for The Zeitz Foundation of Germany. (Reporting by Katie Collins; editing by Tim Pearce)