New cheetah cub born at Africa Alive!
- Credit: Africa Alive
Zookeepers at Africa Alive! were “overjoyed” to discover the birth of a cheetah cub – the first to be born at the site in 10 years.
The cub was found nestled with first-time mother Kilima on August 1, which was a birth long-awaited by staff at the Suffolk zoo.
After settling into its new surroundings, the cub has now been vaccinated, microchipped and sexed by keepers, revealing her to be a female.
The now eight-week-old cub and Kilima will be gradually introduced to the main paddock in the next few days and the pair are planned to be on show to the public from October 2.
Members of the public will also be invited to take part in a naming competition for the new arrival on social media.
Mike Woolham, head of living collections at the Zoological Society of East Anglia, said: “Kilimia is doing very well, she’s very protective as you would expect but has so far proved to be an excellent mum.
“She’s very attentive to the needs of her offspring and we are very much looking forward to sharing our latest new arrival with visitors to the park.
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“Cheetahs housed in zoos in Europe as part of the EAZA breeding programme provide a potential safety net for the wild population, not to mention acting as ambassadors for their wild counterparts and enabling all zoos to raise awareness of their plight in the wild.”
This marks the first cheetah cub birth at Africa Alive! in 10 years, with the last litter, which Kilima herself was part of, being born in 2011.
The birth comes as hopeful news given the decline of cheetah populations in the wild.
The Zoological Society of East Anglia, the charity which runs Africa Alive! in Suffolk and sister park Banham Zoo in Norfolk, works with the EAZA breeding programme to conserve the populations of endangered animals, including cheetahs.