- – - 4 cheetah cubs born - – -
In an attempt to keep the rare king cheetah gene alive for future generations, king cheetah Tristan, and cheetah mother Meg, gave birth to a litter of 4 cheetah cubs last week.
The four babies arrived just one day later than anticipated after the typical cheetah gestation period of between 90 and 95 days.
- – - All born with the King Cheetah gene - – -
The cheetah is a threatened species and the rarest of them all is the “King Cheetah“.
Meg does not carry the king cheetah gene, so none of these cubs will in fact be king cheetahs. However, they will all carry the gene, and in the future if paired with another gene carrying partner, a king cheetah birth would be possible.
- – - The cheetah is listed as Vulnerable so Conservation is essential – - -
Cheetahs are currently listed as “vulnerable” in South Africa. This is an improved listing from previously listed as “endangered” – thanks in part to the various breeding initiatives that have been undertake by conservation bodies, such as the Big Cat & Endangered Centre.
They hope to broaden the cheetah’s genetic pool, with the view to introducing the “vulnerable” animal in areas where they are not typically found. Wherever possible, these animals are released into a natural environment to support gene diversity in wild populations.
- – - No human interaction with new cubs - – -
At the Big Cat & Endangered Wildlife Centre, a special maternity ward has been constructed so that the females can give birth in a warmer and more sheltered environment, and makes it easier to monitor the mother and newborns, as a webcam has also been installed for constant supervision.
Once the babies were born, all within 1 hour 20 minutes of each other, the staff then allowed nature to take its course, and have not approachd the infant cats so that they can be cared for by their mother in the most natural way possible.
- – - Volunteer with Cheetah and Big Cats - – -
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