Cheetahs at ZSL
Cheetahs have been a long-standing success story at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, where a staggering 130 cubs have been born and reared in the last 40 years.
London Zoo had the first record of a cheetah at any zoo in 1829. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo was the first zoo in the world to breed and successfully rear cheetahs in 1967.
Those first three cubs were born in September of that year to mother Juanita and father Jack and were called Jason, Jasmine and Jacaranda. The pair went on to have three further litters and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo continued its breeding and rearing success with more cheetahs.
Its knowledge and good practices have been shared with and used by other collections over the years.
Since then over 130 cheetahs have been born at the zoo, the last litter in 1992, which equated to approximately 20% of the world’s cheetah births in that period. Despite this lull in activities with cheetahs since then, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and ZSL are still renowned for our achievements with the species.
The new exhibit would allow the zoo to restart its cheetah breeding with a carefully thought-out programme designed to achieve success.
The off-show area totals 1,781 sq metres and will be divided into four separate enclosures for the breeding group of six cheetahs.
ZSL curator of mammals Malcolm Fitzpatrick explained: “Previous studies have demonstrated that breeding success is increased by replicating part of the complex social structure of cheetah in the wild. This involves providing opportunities for the different animals to be introduced at different times.”
Malcolm takes us behind the scenes at Cheetah Rock, for a quick preview of this fantastic new exhibit in the video below.