Five cheetah cubs were born today at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. five-year-old Rosalie delivered the litter sired by ten-year-old Nick (the first cheetah born at SCBI) between 5:20 AM and 11:16 AM this morning.
The cubs all appear to be healthy, and are being monitored via a webcam open to virtual visitors. SCBI, the National Zoo’s research facility, is one of ten cheetah breeding centers across the country working to improve the North American cheetah population. Currently, only roughly 7300 cheetahs remain in the wild, and the species is classified as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Rosalie and her cubs can be viewed via the Cheetah cam until the cubs leave the den, though it’s possible at any given time the cheetahs will be in an off-camera location. It will be some time before keepers can determine the sex of the cubs — they’ll perform a health check once Rosalie is comfortable leaving her litter for an extended period of time.
The Zoo, which announced the birth, did not specify any details of plans to bring the new cats to where visitors can see them at the National Zoo in DC.