A three-week-old, female African cheetah cub, is now on exhibit in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Nursery. She was born at the Zoo’s regional cheetah breeding facility in Clermont County on June 22, but she had to be moved to the Zoo’s Nursery after her mother, Lucy, (this is her first litter) could not provide adequate care. In an effort to get the cub back up to speed, Zoo Nursery keepers are bottle feeding the cub six times a day, every 2.5 hours.
Cheetahs, like other predators, need large tracks of land to survive, where they can find enough prey to hunt. The Cheetah population has been dramatically reduced as the small antelope they depend on were reduced by illegal hunting. Conservation efforts, involving the education of local farmers in managing stock to reduce predation by Cheetahs, in East and southern Africa allow people and Cheetahs to live together. These undertaking include the use of fencing, guard dogs, and donkeys to protect livestock and conserve the wild prey base and habitat.
The Zoo’s breeding facility is one of only four similar facilities in the United States managed by the Species Survival Plan. In total, there have been 64 cheetah cubs born in Cincinnati.