Too cute! Cheetah cubs go on display at zoo


Cheetah cubs move into their new habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (Photo: Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

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SAN DIEGO — Four cheetah cubs born in July at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have moved into their exhibit and can be viewed by the public, park officials said Tuesday.

The two males and two females, born July 13 to first-time mother Addison, have been chasing birds and each other around the Okavango Outpost habitat, climbing things and resting with their mother.

“Addison is an excellent mom, calm, confident and extremely protective,” said Paula Augustus, a senior keeper at the park. “The cubs are very vocal, curious and playful, each with their own distinct temperaments. It is great to be able to watch a cheetah mother raising her cubs.”

Addison calls her cubs, which weigh between 16 and 18 pounds, back with a loud chirp when they stray too far from her. The weight of a full-grown cheetah can range between 84 and 143 pounds, with the males being larger, according to the park.

The cubs are all named after former areas of the Safari Park. The males are Wgasa and Refu, and the females are Pumzika and Mahala.

Keepers tell the young felines apart by their faces, tails and markings. They are still nursing, but also eat a diet of raw meat.

Cheetahs are found in Africa and a small portion of Iran. They are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with an estimated worldwide population of cheetahs of 10,000 — of which 10 percent live in zoos or wildlife parks.

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