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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

These four cheetah cubs are the new arrivals at this Cork wildlife park

The cheetah cubs are said to be making great progress so far.

Image: Darragh Kane

THE LATEST ARRIVALS at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork were officially introduced to the public today.

The four new cheetah cubs – two male and two female – are around five weeks old. They were born to mother Nimpy on 29 May.

Lead warden Kelly Lambe said that the cubs are making great progress so far.

She said: “We have been keeping a close eye on these cubs, as much as we can without interfering over the last few weeks and they have all fed from mum, who is doing a great job, without any issues.”

The park itself is highly involved in the global cheetah conservation programme and director Sean McKeown is the european coordinator for the northern cheetah programme.

DK06072017 FOTA 003 Source: Darragh Kane

She said: “All of us here at the wildlife park are thrilled with the birth of the four cheetah cubs, especially following on from the birth of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger cub born a few weeks earlier.

Cheetah numbers are also declining and the population of northern cheetahs has plunged by 90% over the last 100 years, to just an estimated 250 left in the wild.

Cheetahs are endangered in the wild because of loss of habitat and prey due to commercial farming and development, livestock killing and poaching.

Although they can reach speeds of over 100km/hr, they are not as aggressive as some other members of the cat family.

Fota Wildlife Park has been breeding cheetahs for over 30 years, and cheetahs born here are sent to breeding centres abroad to continue the global conservation programme.

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Sean Murray

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