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Two cheetah cubs being hand raised by animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are receiving around-the-clock care and bottle feedings at the Park’s Animal Care Center. The female cubs were born to a cheetah at the Safari Park’s Cheetah Breeding Facility. As the mother, Allie, has been unsuccessful raising her previous litters, animal care staff made the decision to hand rear these littermates, born on Sept. 1.
The nearly three-week-old cubs are growing quickly and now weigh around 3 pounds each. They are becoming increasingly active now that their eyes are open and their vision is becoming clearer. Animal care staff says that these cubs are full of personality, noting that at only a few days old, the youngsters were already swatting and interacting with each other.
“Every baby’s different, but these cheetahs really seem to be developing quickly in our eyes,” said Eileen Neff, lead keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “They are great eaters, they started playing when they were just three or four days old. They could barely walk at that time, so it was pretty interesting seeing them tumbling around with each other.”
These cubs with be animal ambassadors and each will be paired with a domestic dog for companionship, as are all ambassador cheetahs at the Safari Park and San Diego Zoo. The dog’s body language communicates to the cheetah that there’s nothing to fear in new or public surroundings, which relaxes and calms the cheetah.
Visitors to the Safari Park may see the two cubs at the Animal Care Center from 9 a.m. for a few hours daily.