Fota Wildlife Park announces birth of three endangered cheetah cubs

Fota Wildlife Park announces birth of three endangered cheetah cubs
Fota Wildlife Park today announced the birth of three Northern cheetah cubs. Picture: Darragh Kane

The cubs were born on June 10 to mother Nimpy and father Sam.

The cubs, one male and two females, have only recently started venturing out of their cubbing den and "have spent the last few days enjoying the mild weather playing together in the grass and on the logs of their habitat - in an area known as Cheetah Hill in Fota," the Park states.

The cubs' mother Nimpy is 10 years old and was born in Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre, France whilst the cubs' father Sam is four years old and was born in a wildlife centre in Dubai.

Mother Nimpy with one of her three new endangered Northern cheetah cubs. Picture: Darragh Kane
Mother Nimpy with one of her three new endangered Northern cheetah cubs. Picture: Darragh Kane

Sam arrived in Fota in 2017 and has had two other litters of cubs this year. 

Both he and Nimpy are part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Northern cheetah breeding programme which is coordinated by Fota Wildlife Park. 

Speaking about the new arrivals, lead ranger Julien Fonteneau said about the Park is delighted to be announcing a second litter of Northern cheetah cubs since reopening in May. 

"Without a doubt, the Northern cheetah is the most successful breeding programme here at Fota and the species has become synonymous with the Park - it’s even on our logo. 

"We put that breeding success down to the naturalistic habitats and environments that we create for the animals," he said.

The birth of these cubs brings the total for this endangered species born in Fota to 204. 

Two of the three new endangered Northern cheetah cubs born in June. Picture: Darragh Kane
Two of the three new endangered Northern cheetah cubs born in June. Picture: Darragh Kane

Northern cheetah as classed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A 2017 expert report on the decline of the cheetah suggested that in the natural range of the species, there were fewer than 2,800 left in the wild in the whole of East and North Africa. 

The Asiatic cheetah is critically endangered in Iran with less than 40 animals left in the wild.

Fota is now calling on the public to suggest names for the three cheetah cubs on their website to be in with the chance of winning one of three year-long annual passes.

Last month, the Park also announced the birth of two black and white ruffed lemur babies - both of which also have to be named. 

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