Attention, Washington: It's time once again to get into your "awww" stance.
Five cheetah cubs were born May 28 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., officials at the National Zoo announced Wednesday. Six-year-old Amani gave birth to the cubs, adding to the single male cub she had last December (though that cub is being raised by nine-year-old Zazi alongside the single female cub she had right around the same time). Zoo officials say they are thrilled that this litter is much larger, as cheetah cubs tend to fare better when they are part of large litters. This is also the only litter of cheetahs born so far this year in a North American zoo.
“We are very excited that Amani had such a large litter of cubs this time,” said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist, in a statement. “These cubs are very significant for the future of the population, and each birth gives us an opportunity to learn more about cheetah biology and how females raise their young.”
It's all great news for the National Zoo, which has seen something of a baby boom of endangered species over the last year or two. But we know what you really want to know, dear readers: Are there more photos?! The Zoo has indeed released some (somewhat grainy) video and stills of mom and cubs nursing, which we've posted below. We'll have to wait a while longer before we get any glamour shots of the babies hanging out in bowls or taking naps with their paws up in the air.
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