The National Zoo released some mighty cute photos today of the five, fuzzy cheetah cubs born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, on May 28. The cubs’ mother, six-year-old Amani, has been given some time to bond with her cubs. But this past week, the zoo’s cheetah biologists were able to weigh and assess the animals. Reports back are all positive. The little guys weigh about two pounds each and are very healthy and active.
“When I was weighing the last cub, he was being a very tough little guy,” says Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist, in a press release. “We’re already starting to see differences in their dispositions and look forward to watching them grow.”
The litter is the second for Amani, who gave birth to one cub in December 2010, and the first this year for any North American zoo.
“We are very excited that Amani had such a large litter of cubs this time,” said Crosier, in early June. “These cubs are very significant for the future of the population, and each birth gives us an opportunity to learn more about cheetah biology and how females raise their young.”