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[Zoonaute news] Celebrations for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s sextuplets

le Ven 09 Aoû 2013, 18:07
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s six cheetah cubs celebrated their first birthday in style – as keepers gave them a party they could really get their paws into.


Cheetah with giant cake © ZSL

Presents packed full of meaty treats were given to the sextuplets, along with a colourful cardboard cake – but like typical youngsters their preferred play things were the empty boxes and discarded wrapping paper!

The gifts were all part of the one-year-old cub’s enrichment programme, designed to keep them active and spark their natural curiosity and playful natures.

Zookeeper Rosie Scott said: “It’s not often we get to celebrate six birthdays in one day, so we wanted to do something special for the cubs. They love investigating new things and had great fun working out how to reach the food inside their presents.”

The cubs are the second litter of Northeastern African cheetahs to be born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and are providing a valuable rearing experience for mum, Dubai, of this threatened species.

They were born two years after Dubai gave birth to her first cubs, which were the very first litter of Northeastern African cheetahs ever born in the UK.


Two cheetahs with wrapping paper © ZSL

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

  • Their name derives from a Hindi word – Chita – which means ‘the spotted one’
  • Cheetah cubs are born with long, grey fur on their backs and black fur on their bellies.
  • Like the different features on every human face, different spot patterns in the cheetah’s coat makes each one unique.
  • Cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 100km per hour (64mph) and are the world's fastest land mammal.
  • Cheetah conservation has been a major focus for ZSL since 1991. In Tanzania ZSL has been carrying out the longest running in depth study of a wild cheetah population in the Serengeti.
  • The Northeastern cheetah is endangered in its native northeast Africa due to illegal trade - which sees them taken from the wild and smuggled across international borders to be sold as pets - habitat loss, and loss of prey.
  • At the latest Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting, illegal trade was recognised as a growing concern, and as a potentially important factor in the disappearance of cheetahs in Northeast Africa.

_________________
"Si les abeilles disparaissaient, l'homme n'aurait plus que quatre années à vivre"; Albert Einstein

« Le but d'un zoo est de ne pas tenir des animaux, mais d'assurer le futur des espèces »
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