If you’re in need of the warm and fuzzies on this cold and rainy morning, well we have just the news for you. Four three-month-old cubs at Monatro Zoo have been given the cutest names, and will officially be making their public debut today.
Earlier this week, a public voting contest determined the names of the new cubs. The little boy and three girls can be formally introduced as Mapenzi, Kuishi, Mara and Thumani.
Monarto Zoo Carnivore Keeper Gale Akerman says after months of anticipation and preparation, the cubs are now ready to make their debut.
“We are really pleased with how the cubs have grown under Kesho’s watchful eye, each one has its own individual personality which is quite adorable.
“Now that they’re out of the den, they’ll have an absolute ball playing together.”
Earlier this month, lucky visitors were able to catch glimpses of the group in the behind the scenes Cheetah Experience.
“The cubs definitely built up some confidence during the behind the scenes experiences, so they are now raring to go and explore their new home,” Gale says.
Classified as vulnerable to extinction in the wild, these little felines have a bright future ahead of them and mark an important contribution to the breeding program working to secure the future of cheetah.
“At the moment, Cheetah numbers in their native eastern and south-western Africa are scarily low, with only 6,700 estimated to be left in the wild.
“Habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as the killing of cheetah to protect livestock has seen almost half of the wild population disappear in the last 35 years.”
Five-year-old Kesho was born at Monarto Zoo in 2012 as part of Zoos SA’s cheetah breeding program. Dad, six-year-old Saadani was born in the Netherlands and arrived in South Australia in 2014.