Video Of The Week - Cincinnati Zoo Debuts Adorable Newborn Cheetahs

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Newborn cheetahs at Cincinnati Zoo (Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo)

On March 18, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Ohio released the first pictures and video of its newest residents - Five adorable cheetah cubs. The cute newborns that include three males, and two females had to be born via a rare C-section surgery on March 8, due to some medical complications with their mother, five-year-old resident cheetah, Willow.

To give the mother a chance to recuperate from the delicate surgery, zoo medics are hand-rearing the premature cubs inside a special nursery. This is a difficult task given that the kittens have no active immunity. That's because cheetahs receive all their immunity in a passive manner through their mother's milk, which is currently unavailable. Hence, exposure to any germs can lead to a fatal infection. According to the zoo officials, while the young cheetahs have survived the crucial first week, it will take a full month for them to be completely out of danger.

Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

With just 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs left in the wild, the majestic cats are high on the endangered species list. To try to increase their numbers, the US-based Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP) has partnered with zoos across the country to create a cheetah breeding program. Not surprisingly, the Cincinnati Zoo is the leader. Its successful breeding program has resulted in 73 cheetah cubs — And those numbers do not include the five newborns! We sure hope all of them make it through the first 30 days.

Resources: Cincinattizoo.org, abcnew.go.com

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