Four Cheetah cubs in the Cincinnati Zoo’s nursery now have a brother from another mother: A lone Cheetah cub, just 12 days older than the zoo’s litter of four, arrived in Cincinnati from Oregon’s Wildlife Safari after his mother was unable to care for him.
Wildlife Safari and the Cincinnati Zoo, both members of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (BCC), agreed that it would be beneficial for the single cub to join the four cubs being cared for in the zoo’s nursery. “Socialization and companionship, ideally with other Cheetahs, is important at this age,” said Christina Gorsuch, Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Because the four premature cubs in the Nursery are still receiving critical care, it will be a week or two before they’re introduced to the bigger cub. “He’s stronger and much larger than the other cubs. We will supervise initial visits and ease him into the mix,” said Gorsuch.
All of the cubs will eventually become ambassadors for their species. Two males will move to another zoo and the others will remain in Cincinnati as part of the Cat Ambassador Program.
Nursery and vet staff are doing everything they can to help the cubs gain weight and make it past the critical one-month milestone. They will remain in the nursery for four to six more weeks. Visitors may be able to view the cubs through the nursery windows, but some feedings and exams will take place behind the scenes.
Cheetahs are endangered, and their population worldwide has shrunk from about 100,000 in 1900 to an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 Cheetahs today.
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