These cheetah triplets are thriving!
The Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, welcomed three cheetah cubs on Thursday, Oct. 1, the zoo proudly announced on Wednesday. A Dickerson Park veterinarian, Dr. Stephanie Zec, delivered the baby animals into the world via c-section with help from the on-staff animal care team.
Mom cheetah Babs, who's 5 years old, was "bred based on breeding recommendations by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan," the zoo explained, adding that the goal of the effort is to "maintain a robust genetic pool, especially for endangered animals such as cheetahs."
According to the birth announcement, Babs had a closely-monitored pregnancy and wasn't showing any noticeable signs of labor late into her term, prompting caregivers to pursue a c-section.
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"For her safety, and the safety of the cubs, the decision was made to perform a C-section," said the zoo. "The cubs — two boys and a girl — are thriving and being cared for by zoo staff, which includes around-the-clock bottle feedings every three hours."
The care team added that the cubs will "continue to be hand-raised until further direction from the Cheetah SSP." They are not currently on exhibit at the zoo.
Back in March, when it was forced to temporarily close its doors to guests due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Dickerson Park Zoo encouraged children and adults alike to write letters to its animals. Zoo spokesperson Joey Powell said at the time that as many letters as possible would be shared with the animal recipients.
She added that the goal of the effort was "to provide something fun, educational, and interactive while we are going through this difficult time." The zoo has since reopened.
Last week, the zoo shared footage on Instagram of one of their tigers enjoying a pumpkin, ringing in the autumn season.
"Bunga prefers the scent Obsession over pumpkin but is still enjoying his fall treat. #fall #fallvibes🍁 #pumpkin #loveDPZ," Dickerson Park captioned the clip.
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