Since the birth of these three Cheetah cubs, Halla has been an impeccable mother, which is exceptionally pleasing considering this is her first attempt. Her attentiveness to the cubs has not faltered at all and she responded very well to our routines. Halla has been readily coming out of the den for food when we call and showing no aggression or concern with our presence ever since the birth.
At three weeks of age, the cubs had learned how to walk, if somewhat clumsily. They wobble their way around the den, clamber over Halla and are venturing out of the den for short periods during the day and occasionally for longer periods overnight.
From about four weeks (22 November) the cubs are beginning to play and practice their wrestling, pouncing and biting skills with each other. Halla is paying close attention to ensure that they do not wander too far without her supervision. As expected with young animals, such activity is followed by a feed and a sleep which still occurs in their den where we can monitor them with our cameras. Our keepers have seen the cubs only a few times outside the den so far however they expect to see a whole lot more of them as they get older and begin to eat solid food.
We are slowly increasing the activity that occurs in the dens and around Halla’s yard. This will help get the cubs and Halla used to our presence as we approach the cubs’ first vaccinations at the end of January.
Cheetah Keeper – Addy Watson