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Friday, August 12, 2005

Four Fresh Faces in the Nursery at the San Diego Zoo

Four fresh-faced newborn cheetah cubs are making their debut yesterday (August 11, 2005) at the San Diego Zoo. The two-day-old female cubs can be seen in the nursery at the Children's Zoo.

The cubs were born at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park on August 9, but their mother stopped caring for the cubs. Due to the maternal neglect, the decision was made to bring the cubs to the nursery at the Zoo for hand rearing.

Cheetah Cubs

"The cubs will need 24-hour-a-day attention for the first two to three weeks of their lives, with nursery keepers giving them feedings every two hours," said Janet Hawes, senior nursery keeper. "As they grow, the feedings, and the need for non-stop attention will diminish."

At two days old, the four cubs weigh each between 400-500 grams, and eat 22% of their body weight at each feeding. Their eyes are still closed and will open in about a week, at about the time they will be removed from their incubator.

The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is operated by the not-for-profit Zoological Society of San Diego. The Zoological Society, dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around the globe. The Zoological Society also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park (more than half of which has been set aside as protected native species habitat) and the department of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES), and is working to establish field stations in five key ecological areas worldwide.


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