Cheetah

From Renewed Life to New Life…

Cub with Caregiver

Less than 1 year ago, Venus made headlines as one of few animals in the world to under-go eye surgery. Cango Wildlife Ranch's treasured 6 year old female Cheetah, Venus, experienced a challenging start to life but nothing prepared keepers for this remarkable turn-around.

The Roman Goddess of love, beauty and fertility shares more than just a name with Cango's spotted Goddess. One who is equally as beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Venus was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts. Vets monitored her for many months but her condition continued to deteriorate and gravely affected her quality of life. After months of tests, planning, preparation and much needed fundraising, vets were able to take Venus to the Cape Animal Eye Hospital for surgery.

Venus During Surgery

Doctor Anthony Goodhead (Cape Town) removed the cataracts and large amount of scar tissue from Venus’ corneas. Due to her particular case, it was determined that new lenses would not resolve her condition; however, by removing all the obstructions it would restore her sight. Multiple tests were done on Venus to better understand the cause of her impairment, specifically with regards to diseases commonly found in Cheetahs. Luckily she tested negative for all. According to experts, it is likely that Venus’ condition was as the result of malnutrition as a cub. Venus’ surgery was a massive success. She is now far-sighted but for the first time in over two years… she can see.

Venus Surgery

Cango Wildlife Ranch keepers' experience of Venus’ pre and post-surgery behavior was a privilege in itself. She transformed from a scared, nervous and fairly aggressive animal to a more confident assured cat who rambunctiously explored her surroundings, as if it is the first time, even though it had been her home for years.

Venus Pre-Surgery

Venus’ recovery has gone exceptionally well. She undoubtedly received a renewed gift-of-life… and now it seems she is paying it forward.

Just the other day, Venus gave birth to four healthy cheetah cubs. She surprised keepers with her amazing maternal skills as a first time mom. Both mom and cubs are healthy and happy!

Pippa and Peyton

 

Continue reading "From Renewed Life to New Life…" »


Baby Cheetahs Frolic at Schönbrunn Zoo

PA_Gepard3

Three Cheetahs born on April 16 are frolicking, playing with each other, and cuddling up with mom now that they are on exhibit at Austria’s Schönbrunn Zoo.

Gepard_05_TGS_Zupanc
PA_Gepard1
Gepard_06_TGS_ZupancPhoto Credit: Daniel Zupanc

At five weeks old, the Cheetah cubs, whose sex has not yet been determined, are already the size of domestic cats and tip the scales at around nine pounds (4 kg). The triplets also have roly-poly milk tummies.

“All three young animals are developing splendidly.  Two of the babies come out several times a day, the third one is a bit more timid and prefers to wait in the litter cave until his mother and siblings come back,” explains the zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.

Baby Cheetahs grow very quickly. Schratter says, “Cheetahs are pure carnivores, but up to now the young are being suckled, although they have already broken their milk teeth. Before long, the little feline predators will be enjoying their first meal of meat.”

Once hunted for their fur, Cheetahs are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction and the lack of prey. Only around 10,000 of these animals still live in Africa. The Schönbrunn Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), despite the difficulty of breeding Cheetahs in a zoo setting.  The new triplets are the first Cheetahs born at the zoo in 13 years.

See more photos of frolicking Cheetah cubs below.

Continue reading "Baby Cheetahs Frolic at Schönbrunn Zoo" »


Keepers at Wildlife Safari Save Rejected Cheetah Cub

1 cheetah

Staff at Wildlife Safari in Oregon have stepped in to care for a newborn Cheetah who was rejected by his mother. On May 3, first-time Cheetah mom Moyo stopped eating, which alerted keepers that a birth was imminent. Keepers attentively monitored the birth on surveillance cameras, and became concerned for the wellbeing of the cub when mom ignored him, and did not attempt to clean off the birth sack. 

Newborns can only survive minutes without being removed from the sack and cleaned, so staff quickly stepped in to save the cub's life. They removed the sack, cleaned the airway and stimulated the cub to take his first breath. Since the mother would not care for the newborn, he was rushed to an incubator inside Wildlife Safari's animal hospital.

2 cheetah

3 cheetah

4 cheetahPhoto credit: Wildlife Safari 

The newborn is doing well: he's taking his bottle, putting on weight, and has already won the hearts of staff. He is the 174th Cheetah cub to be born at the park through the internationally recognized Cheetah breeding program. 

"Given this rare opportunity to hand raise the cub, he will soon become an ambassador for his species at another AZA accredited facility" said Carnivore Supervisor Sarah Roy.  


Two Cheetah Litters Born at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

1 cheetah

The Smithsonian's National Zoo celebrated International Cheetah Day (December 4) with ten genetically valuable cubs! They were all born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute last month. First-time mother Miti birthed a litter of seven cubs on November 12. Six of her cubs made it through those critical early days—five females and one male. Experienced mother Ally gave birth to a litter of four cubs on November 26. Animal care staff have not fully examined Ally’s cubs yet but both litters are doing well so far. Staff are keeping an eye on the litters with closed-circuit webcams, and will have more updates in the coming weeks.  

The birth of these ten cubs is excellent news for this Vulnerable species; according to the Internation Union for Consservation of Species, there are an estimated 7,500 adult Cheetahs in the wild. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, launched in 2010, works to conserve endangered species and train conservationists. 

2 cheetah

3 cheetah

4 cheetah

5 cheetah

6 cheetah

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute / Amber Dedrick (1) 


Cheetah Cubs Bond with Mom at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

1 cheetah

Three new Cheetah cubs were born on October 12 at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas! They are two females and one male. All appear to be in good health and first-time mom Gracie is proving to be a natural mother. 

The father is Bruce, an 8-year-old male born and hand-raised at Fossil Rim. This was his first litter of cubs and the center's animal care staff were pleasantly surprised by his ability to reproduce, as hand-raised male Cheetahs often fail to reproduce sucessfully. Bruce and his brother Moose were pulled from their mom for hand-raising due to illness at a young age.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is hosting a naming contest on their Facebook page to invite the public to help name the cubs. The contest closes tomorrow, December 4, on International Cheetah Day (a campaign created by the Cheetah Conservation Fund to raise awareness about this Vulnerable species). In addition to naming the Cheetahs, the winners will also receive a private tour of the wildlife center's Cheetah facility, which is not open to the public. 

2 cheetahPhoto credit: Fossil Rim Widllife Center

See videos of the litter playing with mom:

 


Meet Burgers' Zoo's Cheetah Cub Trio

1 cheetah

As a Thanksgiving treat, here's a sneak peek at the newest little Cheetahs at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands!

For the next few months they will stay behind the scenes so that mom can raise her cubs undisturbed. Once they're old enough they will have a veterinary checkup to get vaccinated and to determine their sexes. 

Cheetahs are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened species. Current estimates place the wild Cheetah population at around 7,500 individuals. We're thankful for zoos that aid wildlife conservation through cooperative captive breeding programs, research, and by reaching out to engage and educate the public.

2 cheetah

3 cheetah

4 cheetahPhoto credit: Burgers' Zoo


Romping with Cheetah Cubs - a ZooBorns First!

ZooBorns(J1309300165)

Last Monday my ZooBorns' co-founder, Chris Eastland, and I (Andrew Bleiman) made a very special trip to Dallas Zoo to meet their twin Cheetah cubs, Kamau and Winspear. We also met their canine companion, a black Lab puppy named, Amani. 

It's extraordinarily rare that we get to interact, let alone romp, with real-live zoo-borns. However these special cubs are being raised as education animals so socialization with humans, even goofy ZooBorns guys, is part of their regular day. Their puppy friend, Amani, is a calming influence who will also help with these efforts. 

The cubs were born at Smithsonian's Front Royal Conservation Biology Institute on July 8th. 

ZooBorns(J1309300200)

ZooBorns(J1309300203)

ZooBorns(J1309300070)

ZooBorns(J1309300290)

The feline duo put on quite a display. Stalking and pouncing on us / one another / furniture and just about anything else worth clawing at occupied most of the morning. The cubs made a variety of noises, from bird-like chirps, to gutteral growls, to purrs that would remind you of your house cat, just a lot louder. 

With wild Cheetah populations hovering somewhere around 10,000, the species is considered vulnerable to extinction. Cheetahs thrive in vast expanses of land. Human encroachment and habitat destruction are central threats to this iconic species.

Institutions like Dallas Zoo serve an invaluable role in building empathy and awareness for wildlife conservation. We here at ZooBorns are proud to help spread the word about these efforts and consider ourselves incredibly priviliged to meet Dallas' newest Cheetah ambassadors. 

Special thanks to the Dallas Zoo staff that made our visit possible. Pictured left to right: Chris Eastland (ZooBorns), Candice Davis, Chris Johnson, Robin Ryan, and Andrew Bleiman (ZooBorns). Not pictured: Laurie Holloway

Photo credits: ZooBorns / Juan Pulido


Cheetah Cubs Bond with Black Lab Puppy at Dallas Zoo

2 cheetah

Dallas Zoo recently welcomed two new adorable ambassadors: Cheetah cubs Winspear and Kamau. The 8-week-old male cubs were born July 8 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. A team of Dallas Zoo experts spent nearly two weeks in Virginia before flying back to Dallas with the cubs. Winspear, the larger of the two, now weighs more than 8 pounds, while Kamau is over 6 pounds.

The cubs also have a new companion who’ll be raised alongside them: an 8-week-old Black Labrador puppy named Amani. Zoological experts have found that because dogs are naturally comfortable in public settings, Amani will provide a calming influence for the cubs, as well as another playmate as they grow to adulthood. Amani means 'peace' in the Swahili language of East Africa, where cheetahs still exist in the wild. The cats are endangered, however, with their numbers estimated to have fallen to about 10,000.

1 cheetah

3 cheetah

Photo credits: Dallas Zoo

Watch a video of the playful cubs:

 

“It is a thrill to be able to tell the story about cheetah conservation and to educate Dallas Zoo guests about this magnificent species,” says Sean Green, vice president of guest experiences for the Dallas Zoo. “Winspear and Kamau will become important animal ambassadors for the Dallas Zoo, building appreciation and awareness about cheetahs to more than 900,000 visitors each year.”The cubs are smoke-colored, with black spots and unique “tear stripes” below their eyes already evident. As they grow, they will acquire the golden color of adult cheetahs. When full grown, the cheetahs will stand about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 140 pounds.The cubs will not reside with the Zoo’s two adult brother-and-sister cheetahs, Bonde and Kilima, in the Giants of the Savanna cheetah habitat. Instead, guests soon will have the opportunity to meet them in person at the Wild Encounters stage. In addition, the cubs occasionally will travel to select outreach events outside the zoo. Only 15 zoos in North America incorporate cheetahs into their outreach programs.

Says Greene, “Our African-themed exhibits, such as the Giants of the Savanna, are some of the most popular areas of the Dallas Zoo. These magnificent animals will help us tell the story about these habitats and the conservation work we support.” 


Playful Cheetah Cub Duo Delights Visitors at the Chester Zoo

1093929_10151736609050912_1132511002_o

Two energetic Northern Cheetah cubs turned 2 months recently at Chester Zoo in England. The pair, born June 4, are a male and a female. The zoo says that the two cubs are starting to develop their own personalities, as they climb tree stumps and bounce after one another. Team Manager of Carnivores, Dave Hall, said: “They’re very, very playful and a real handful for mum. But she’s exceptionally good with them and doing a great job of bringing them up.”

1074603_10151734350520912_1764331552_o

Their mother and father, KT and Matrah, are both 6-year old Northern Cheetahs born in 2007. The pair is KT's second litter, her first being born in June 2011. Northern Cheetahs are Endangered in their native Northwest African habitat, largely due to competition with larger predators, farmers, and habitat destruction. The wild population has decreased sharply by 90% within the last 100 years, and many fear that there are as few as 250 individuals remaining. The birth of the two cubs therefore is not only a success for the Chester Zoo, but also for the International Endangered Species Breeding Program.

1026061_10151736100645912_2011752913_o

The Chester Zoo is a champion for Cheetahs, combining research and support for local organizations in Africa. The Zoo supports the N/a’an ku sê Carnivore Research Project based in Namibia, where the dwindling Cheetah population is monitored and tagged. Chester Zoo also helped to develop a technique to identify Cheetahs in the wild from their paw prints, which allows for a non-intrusive way of identifying and building a data bank of these wild cats.

1009483_10151738156300912_1927839998_o
Photo Credit Chester Zoo


Cheetah Triplets Weigh In at Zoo Salzburg

942392_10151559834223137_1065130769_n

A trio of Cheetah cubs was born on June 28 at Zoo Salzburg in Austria. The trio, which consists of two males and one female, were born to mother Ginger. Ginger is taking great care of her cubs, who have grown considerably since their birth. Born at 250 grams each (about 1/2 pound), the males now weigh 1,200 grams each (2.65 pounds) and the female weighs 900 grams (just under 2 pounds).

1005317_10151559834143137_429525544_n

Cheetahs have a short gestation period of about 90-95 days. Young Cheetah cubs have a greyish coat and lack the distinctive spot markings of their species. Cheetahs are currently listed as Vulnerable to Extinction, with under 12,500 individuals remaining in the African wild. Native to Africa and southwestern Asia, a small population of the species also exists in Iran. Adult females are solitary, while males live in social groups. Females are very selective in choosing mates, and their social and breeding behaviors tend to make breeding within zoos a challenge.

374385_10151559834133137_1602803920_n
Photo Credit Zoo Salzburg