We alerted you to the fact that five cheetah cubs were born in Fort Royal, Virginia, at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute earlier this month, but now there are pictures! Can you say, "Aww"?
The five cubs, which were born on May 28, underwent their first weigh-in this week. The cubs weigh an average of two pounds each."When I was weighing the last cub, he was being a very tough little guy," said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist in statement from the National Zoo Park. "We’re already starting to see differences in their dispositions and look forward to watching them grow and learning all we can from them."
The zoo's statement highlighted that the cubs, born to the six-year-old Amani, are healthy, especially considering that newborn captive cheetah cubs can have a mortality rate of up to 20 percent in their first six months. That's pretty tame compared to cheetahs born in the wild, which can have a mortality rate of up to 70 percent.
SCBI is one of five facilities dedicated to boosting cheetah populations, which have suffered due to human conflict, poaching, and habitat loss in their native East Africa. The zoo's release estimates that there are only about 7,500 to 10,000 cheetahs alive in the wild.