DC National Zoo Introduces Cheetah Cubs

Four cheetah cubs recently made their public debut at Washingtons National Zoo.

By | Posted: Mon Mar 7 00:00:00 PST 2005

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March 7-9, 2005

The National Zooloagical Park in Washington D.C., a part of the Smithsonian Institution, recently presented its first litter of cheetah cubs to the public. Four-year-old cheetah Tumai gave birth to the cubs, two males and two females, on Nov. 23.

The cubs' successful birth marked a rare occasion because breeding the endangered species is difficult, according to a reproductive scientist at the zoo.

Currently the size of housecats at 10 pounds, Tumai's cheetah cubs are expected to reach their adult weight at 100 pounds when they are a year old. At that time, the cubs may be dispersed to other North American zoos as part of a breeding-conservation program.

The fastest animals on earth with a speed of 60 mph, cheetahs are mostly extinct in the wild, except in Africa where only 12,000 to 15,000 remain.

The cubs' birth is good news for the National Zoo, which has faced charges of poor handling and mismanagement in the past year after two red pandas, a zebra and an elephant died in its care.

For more information on Tumai's cubs, visit nationalzoo.si.edu.

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