Monarto Safari Park’s second litter of eight-week-old Cheetah cubs have had their first health check and their genders revealed!
Last week, four-year-old Kuishi’s little ones were weighed (tipping the scales between 3.1kg up to 4.2kg), microchipped, vaccinated and given a clean bill of health by veterinarian Jerome Kalvas.
Director of Monarto Safari Park, Peter Clark, said Jerome then checked their genders before letting the PR team deliver the exciting news via the best possible method – cake!
“A few weeks ago, our first group of three cubs were sexed as two females and one male. We have been eagerly waiting to find out the sex of Kuishi’s four cubs because we hoped to form a coalition – which is normally made up of a group of male Cheetah, in most cases siblings” he said.
“Female Cheetah are solitary, however males form a brotherhood with other Cheetah of a similar age which can stay together for life.
“We are excited to announce that Kuishi’s cubs are two girls and two boys! This is particularly important as we can now start to form a group of males (with Qailee’s single male) to roam the plains of our new Cheetah habitat in Wild Africa, which spans nearly 50 acres.
“I had to laugh at our PR team, they had made gender reveal cupcakes and delivered the news by making keepers, our Chief Executive Elaine Bensted and myself take a chomp for Cheetah to reveal the sexes.”
The new Cheetah exhibit will just be one section of the 550ha Wild Africa precinct, one of the largest safaris outside of Africa. A luxury hotel and resort is set to open by the end of the year offering views across bustling waterholes.
But the spotty news doesn’t end there!
Excitingly, Qailee’s litter of three cubs made their debut today setting out to explore the Cheetah habitat and get their tiny paws muddy.
Assistant Curator of Carnivores, Jon Allon, said the trio did an amazing job, sticking close to mum as they pounced, prowled and played around their new space.
“The girls were more confident than their brother, leading the way and exploring all the different areas of their habitat,” he said.
“It was really exciting to see them out and about as a family, particularly the cross-fostered girl – she is doing really well.”
Visitors can now see the Qailee’s cubs from the Zu-loop bus or from the Cheetah platform. Kuishi’s pawsome foursome will join the trio out on exhibit when they are around three months of age and Zoos SA will hold a naming competition for the spot-tacular seven in the coming weeks – watch this space.
Africa’s most endangered big cat, Cheetah are sadly just a spot away from extinction; impacted by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and the illegal wildlife trade.
In the last century, the world has lost 90 per cent of the wild Cheetah population and it is estimated only 6,000 remain across eastern and south-western Africa.
Zoos SA partners with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) to lend a paw to this amazing species andMonarto Safari Park’s Cheetah are proudly supported by Kimbolton Wines.
For more information about Cheetah conservation and Monarto Safari Park, please visit monartosafaripark.com.au.