Smithsonian zoo welcomes five adorable cheetah cubs, “significant addition” to vulnerable species

Smithsonian’s National Zoo is celebrating the recent arrival of five adorable cheetah cubs — a birth being called a “significant addition” to the species’ survival plan.

According to a press release from the zoo, 8-year-old cheetah mom Echo gave birth to a litter on September 12. One of the cubs did not survive, but five baby cheetahs are now doing well in their mother’s care.

The litter consists of three males and two females, and they appear to be “strong, active, vocal and eating well,” according to the zoo. This is Echo’s second litter; she previously gave birth to four cubs in 2020.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

The cubs were born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, part of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition, a group of cheetah breeding centers that aims to create a sustainable North American cheetah population under human care.

The newborn cubs were described as a “significant addition” to this species survival plan.

READ MORE: “History is made”: Zoo celebrates rare birth of critically endangered gharial crocodiles

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Cheetahs are listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List, with only between 7,000 and 7,500 left in the wild. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, they are threatened by human conflict, poaching, and habitat loss.

NZCBI has celebrated 81 cheetah births since 2007 and they currently house 30 cheetahs.

The newborn cubs are doing well in their mother’s care. Staff will perform occasional health checks, but otherwise not interfere as the mother dotes on her young. And fans can even watch the cheetah family through a live cheetah cub cam!

What adorable cubs! It’s so heartwarming to see these newborns bonding with their mom. Welcome to the world!

Please share this amazing news if you love animals! 🐆❤️