Mums and dads grabbed their frightened children and hid after the jungle big cat went on the run at Port Lympne wildlife park.
Kent Live reports that visitors were shut in shops for their own safety at the attraction – which hit the headlines when Peter Andre took his family out there last year.
The savage five foot long slavering beast was on the loose for nearly half an hour before it was tempted back into its pen by lumps of meat tossed into its enclosure.
Visitors were escorted to ‘safe areas’ and no-one had been in danger – a park spokesman later insisted.
Cheetah’s are the world’s fastest animal, and can spring at 75mph – almost three times as quick as Usain Bolt.
One mum, 38-year-old Maggie Jones, of Maidstone, who was visiting the park with husband Gary, 39, and their children Danielle, 11, and Harry, 13, said “It was pretty scary.
“Word quickly spread that a big cat was on the loose and parents were shooing their children into the shops and even into the toilets.
“Everyone was looking round nervously in case it was about to jump out on us.
“They reassured us it was harmless but none of the mums and dads were taking any chances.
“Apparently it got out of its enclosure and was on the loose where they take safari buses full of people.”