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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Four 'vulnerable' cheetah cubs born at Fota Wildlife Park

The Northern cheetah cubs were born at the conservation park in November.

The four Northern cheetah cubs were born in November
The four Northern cheetah cubs were born in November
Image: Fota Wildlife Park

FOUR NORTHERN CHEETAH cubs have been born at Fota Wildlife Park, the Cork-based conservation group has announced.

Two male and two female cubs – who have yet to be named – were born at the park on 12 November to mother Nimpy and father Claude, who are both nine years old.

Northern cheetah cubs are considered ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature ‘Red List’, a comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of different species, and only around 500 exist in the wild.

Kelly Lambe, Lead Ranger at the park, said that cheetahs in the wild face many threats to their population including the conversion of their natural habitat into agricultural zones, conflict with humans and competition for food with other large predators.

She also revealed that over 200 cheetahs have been born at the park since 1985, with many forming part of cooperative breeding programmes in wildlife parks and zoos across Europe to ensure the genetic diversity of the species.

DSC_0458 Nimpy and her four Northern cheetah cubs Source: Fota Wildlife Park

Both Nimpy and Claude came to Fota from La Palmyre Zoo in France in 2012 as part of the European Endangered Species Programme.

While Nimpy had already bred before, this is the first time that Claude has successfully bred at Fota.

The park said that while the cubs are being kept securely in the den where they were born by their mother, they are beginning to become active and can be viewed on a camera screen in their habitat.

It also announced that a competition to name the cubs was open to members of the public.

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