Zoo cheetah cubs now in their African Grasslands habitat

Published: May. 21, 2018 at 8:56 PM CDT
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Six cheetah cubs from the Zoo’s Cheetah Breeding Center at its Wildlife Safari Park are now in their habitat in African Grasslands.

The cubs, two male and four female, were born at the Park on November 24, 2017. Gracie, the cubs’ mother, is eight years old and has been at Wildlife Safari Park since February 2017. The cubs’ father Jaxon, a seven-year-old cheetah was born at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. This is Gracie and Jaxon’s second litter of cubs together. Their first litter consisted of two cubs that were born in June 2017.

Recently Cheryl Morris, Vice President of Conservation at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, was named program leader of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Cheetah program. Morris’ level of expertise, 12 years of commitment to the AZA Felid Taxon Advisory Group and the Zoo’s success through the Cheetah Breeding Center led to the appointment of Morris in this distinguished leadership role. Currently the program consists of 7 cheetah projects dedicated to the survivability of the species.

Cheetahs are roaming cats that pose unique conservation challenges because they have larger ranges than other carnivores. As a result, habitat loss has profoundly impacted their populations. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of 55 AZA certified facilities participating in field conservation and research projects for cheetahs. In 2014, the Zoo and Aquarium constructed an off-exhibit breeding center for cheetah that manages between 20 to 30 cheetahs at any given time.

This facility helps the AZA Species Survival Plan for cheetah reach its target population in AZA zoos of 350.