Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

Sprinter Bolt adopts a cheetah

Usain Bolt and Lightning Bolt the cheetah
Usain Bolt said he wanted to see the challenges facing Africa first-hand

The fastest man on Earth, Usain Bolt, has adopted the fastest animal on four legs, a cheetah, and has given it the only suitable name - Lightning Bolt.

The champion sprinter, on a four-day trip to Kenya, looked nervous as he was handed the three-month-old cub - which is about the size of a household cat.

But he soon recovered his composure to name the cub in his honour.

The Jamaican sprinter is helping to launch a conservation campaign run by German charity the Zeitz Foundation.

During his trip, he has already impressed local children with his football skills, and become an honorary Maasai warrior.

'Calm' cheetah

Bolt, the world record holder at both 100m and 200m, told reporters at the weekend he was excited about his first meeting with a cheetah.

But the BBC's Caroline Karobia in Nairobi says he appeared to be knocked out of his stride as he toured the Nairobi animal sanctuary - coming face-to-face with fully grown creatures.

"I am glad it wasn't a lion - the cheetah is much more calm," he said earlier.

He is helping to launch a campaign called the Long Run, which aims to promote ecologically sound practices.

"I was attracted to the initiative because of its objectives on the conservation of the environment and co-existence of different cultures," Bolt said.

"I do a lot of charity work in Jamaica. But I would like to see first-hand the challenges facing Africa in environment."

The Zeitz Foundation was set up by Jochen Zeitz, the boss of sportswear manufacturer Puma.

Our reporter says another small animal was also being adopted by a person of importance at Nairobi's animal orphanage.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga adopted a lion cub and, not to be outdone, named it Agwambo - his own nickname, which means "king" in the Luo language.

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