Cheetah cubs born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Monday 16 August 2010
Tiny month-old cheetah cub Rabaa, from the first litter of Northern cheetah ever born in the UK, gives mum Dubai a peck on the nose at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
The litter of five cubs – three males and two females – have been named Itjane, Sanne, Tlata, Rabaa and Khamssa, which translates as numbers one, two, three, four and five in the North African language of Berber, spoken where their critically endangered species originates.
Born to first-time mum Dubai, the cubs and mum are all doing very well and will move into their public home in the Zoo’s Cheetah Rock enclosure this week.
The cubs are a cause for great celebration for both the Zoo and the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP), as it is estimated that there are less than 250 individuals of this critically endangered subspecies remaining in the wild.
ZSL works in Algeria to help protect these cheetahs in the wild, and conservationists from ZSL were the first to record camera-trap images of the elusive species in 2009.