A few days ago I wrote a piece about the miracle birth of 5 adorable cheetahs at the Cincinnati Zoo. A few significant things have happened since then and I felt a quick update was in order.
First the bad news. Willow, the cubs’ mother, has passed away. The birth was very difficult for her and the added stress of the C-section was just too much for her to recover. Thane Maynard, the current director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, released this message to the public. “Willow was able to contribute to the survival of her species by producing five cheetah cubs. Without the C-section, we likely would have lost both the mom and the cubs.”
But it isn’t all bad news! The cheetah cubs have been growing healthier since my last report. Dawn Strasser, head nursery keeper released this statement a few days ago: “They really turned a corner this weekend. They opened their eyes, had good appetites and, most importantly, they pooped! It’s important to keep their digestive system moving. We’ve been massaging their bellies and giving them opportunities to exercise as much as possible.”
Because Willow can’t be there for them anymore the zoo has assigned Blakely, an Australian shepherd to be the cubs surrogate mother. Strasser had this to say about Blakely: “His first job is to let the cubs climb on him, which they did as soon as they were put together. They need the exercise to build muscle tone and get their guts moving.”
Here’s a video showing them together:
Willow may be gone but at least her children will have all the attention, love, and affection they could ever want.