Fast cat spotted at Whipsnade
Monday 26 June 2006
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is cheering the arrival of the worlds fastest land mammal; an adult male cheetah.
The 10-year-old male - Karsai – has been transported from Fota Wildlife Park in County Cork, Ireland and it is hoped it will form part of a breeding programme when a female cheetah arrives at the park in due course.
Always a favourite at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, the cheetahs have been bred at the park for many years and over 160 cubs have been born here.
While cheetahs used to be found throughout most of Africa, they are now endangered in most of their natural range. Cheetahs are often killed because they kill livestock, however they are also endangered because of loss of habitat and poaching.
Zoological Society of London Curator of Mammals, Malcolm Fitzpatrick said:
'It is fantastic to have this charismatic species back at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Not only are they a great addition to our living collection but they raise awareness of ZSL’s cheetah conservation programme in Tanzania – to help protect this species in the wild.'
Karsai has travelled widely; after being born at Allwetter Zoo in Germany and living in Belfast Zoo for a while, he also visited Dublin Zoo as part of a breeding programme.
Image © John O’Reilly, South Beds News Agency