Just like any other newborns, the six new cheetah cubs at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are not only becoming more active, but forming a special bond with their mother.
The cubs, who were born on June 6, 2018, are practicing hunting behaviours, such as stalking and pouncing, as well as more play activity.
They are now 14 weeks old and weigh between six and seven kilograms each.
During their health check keepers were able to determine their gender – three females and three males.
They have been bonding with their mother, Kyan behind the scenes, but keepers expect that visitors will be able to see them in October.
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“We are looking forward to our visitors being able to see them on exhibit as we have never had this big a Cheetah family before,” keeper Jordan Michelmore said.
“It will be fascinating to watch them interact and play with each other out there.”
Jordan said the six cubs are very active, and spend the mornings running around and climbing on logs and rocks in their behind the scenes yard, all under the watchful eye of their mother.
“Kyan is being a great mum, she is very protective and likes to be able to see all six cubs at all times, ensuring they don’t stray too far from her side,” Jordan said.
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The cubs are now rarely observed drinking milk from their mother, preferring to drink water and eat solid foods.
Currently they are eating a variety of meats but usually prefer to eat whatever Kyan is eating.
“We have found this large litter to be much more active than our previous litters,” Jordan said.
“We think this is because there are so many cubs that there is always some action! Whenever one of the cubs has a rest they are shortly joined by a sibling wanting to wrestle, race or explore.”