Baby Cheetahs

by Rebecca on January 13, 2011

in Animal Stories

Many years of research are celebrated in the birth of two cheetah cubs at
the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/default.cfm -the first Cheetahs born at the
Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park facility in Front Royal, Va. The cubs
were born to two separate females; the first to 5-year-old Amani Dec. 6, the
second to 9-year-old Zazi Dec. 16. Cheetahs that give birth to only one cub,
called a singleton, cannot produce enough milk to keep the cub alive.
Typically, females in the wild will let a single cub die, after which they
will breed again to theoretically produce a larger litter. So scientists at
SCBI resorted to an alternative technique. The cub born to Amani, a
first-time mother, was hand-raised for 13 days before being placed with
Zazi, creating a litter of two that will likely help stimulate milk
production from Zazi. Researchers have observed both cubs nursing from Zazi.

“When we realized that Amani had a singleton, we removed the cub to hand
rear it,” said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist. “So when Zazi gave
birth, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to give both cubs a chance
at survival as one litter under her care without any additional interference
by us. Only a few institutions in North American have ever successfully
cross-fostered cheetah cubs.”


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