While many of you were taking planes, trains and automobiles to journey home this past holiday weekend, three National Zoo cheetahs did likewise. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, brothers Draco, Granger and Zabini—brothers all named after characters in the Harry Potter books—returned from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Cheetah Science Facility in Front Royal, Virginia, and joined Tumai, a female, on public display at the Zoo.
The wild cheetah population is dwindling to disturbing lows—somewhere between 12,000 to 15,000 in all—and the Zoo moves their animals between DC and the Virginia research facility to further research and hopefully bolster their numbers a bit. So be sure to swing by while you can see these four svelte felines while they're on display. And before heading out, bone up on some fun cheetah facts and learn about some of the Zoo's animal breeding tactics.