Cincinnati Zoo’s Smallest Cheetah Cub Loses Fight to Survive

Posted March 29, 2016

Five cheetah cubs born March 8 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden emailFour cheetah cubs remain in the Nursery in critical care                        

CINCINNATI, OH (March 29, 2016) – Sadly, the runt of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s cheetah cub litter passed away last night.  All five cubs had been in critical care since they were born via C-section at the Zoo’s Mast Farm on March 8.  The remaining four are still receiving around-the-clock care.

“The male cub had significant issues and was not processing the formula,” said Dr. Mark Campbell, Director of Animal Health at the Cincinnati Zoo.  “The difficult circumstances under which the cubs were born, their low birth weights, underdeveloped systems and the absence of immunities the mom’s colostrum would have provided have made their first weeks of life challenging.”

Nursery and vet staff are closely monitoring formula intake and doing everything they can to keep the two males and two females in their care healthy. They will remain in the Nursery for eight to ten more weeks.  Visitors may be able to view the cubs through the Nursery windows, but some feedings and exams will take place behind the scenes.

The Cincinnati Zoo is one of nine institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that participate in a cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (BCC). Working closely with the AZA’s Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP), the BCC’s goal is to create a sustainable cheetah population that will prevent extinction of the world’s fastest land animal.

Cheetahs are endangered, and their population worldwide has shrunk from about 100,000 in 1900 to an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs today.