Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s six Cheetah cubs have been given a clean bill of health from Zoo veterinarians following their recent health check behind the scenes. The cubs were born on June 6 to mother, Kyan, and father, Jana.
The lively cubs currently weigh between 6 – 7 kilograms each. During their health check, keepers were also able to determine the sexes: three females and three males.
“The six cubs are now very active, spending the mornings running around and climbing on logs and rocks in their behind the scenes yard, all under the watchful eye of their mother, Kyan,” said Cheetah Keeper, Jordan Michelmore. “Kyan is being a great mum, she is very protective and likes to be able to see all six cubs at all times, ensuring they don’t stray too far from her side.”
The cubs are now rarely observed drinking milk from their mother, preferring to drink water and eat solid foods. Currently they are eating a variety of meats but usually prefer to eat whatever Kyan is eating.
“We have found this large litter to be much more active than our previous litters,” said Jordan. “We think this is because there are so many cubs that there is always some action! Whenever one of the cubs has a rest they are shortly joined by a sibling wanting to wrestle, race or explore.”
Over the coming months, keepers will introduce the cubs to more foods and expect to see them start practicing hunting behaviors, such as stalking and pouncing, as well as more play activity.
“Kyan and the cubs will remain behind the scenes a little longer, and then we’ll start the process of moving the family to the Cheetah exhibit. We expect that visitors will be able to see them in October. We are looking forward to our visitors being able to see them on exhibit, as we have never had this big a Cheetah family before! It will be fascinating to watch them interact and play with each other out there,” said Jordan.