HOUSTON -

Some cheetahs from the Houston Zoo got to go on a little field trip to mark International Cheetah Day.

Two cheetah boys from the zoo have been given quite an opportunity.  Kito and Kiburi arrived Wednesday morning and got a chance to run free at the Houston Dynamo practice field.

"All over the world people are celebrating it and trying to bring awareness to their plight in the wild," said Sarah Riger, Carnivore Supervisor at the Houston Zoo.

Riger says these animals are the fastest land mammal.

"A wild cheetah will go about 70 miles an hour and these guys don't get the exercise that the wild counterparts do," she said.

The cheetahs chased a lure powered by a small electric motor. The cheetahs got to run off-leash.  While the cheetahs were loose, everyone was safe behind a protective barrier.

"At the zoo they can't get up to the speeds when they're out here. We had them about 800 or 900 feet down," Riger said.

During the run one of the cheetahs was clocked at 41 miles per hour.

Kito and Kiburi each weigh over 100 pounds and are about 9 feet long.