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Published: Wednesday, 6/27/2007

New cheetah cubs on display at the Toledo Zoo

Thw two new cheetah cubs are relaxing with their mother Shaka at the Toledo Zoo today. Thw two new cheetah cubs are relaxing with their mother Shaka at the Toledo Zoo today.

The two cubs, Amani (meaning peace ) and Moja (meaning one ) were born in April to Shaka, a 7-year-old who was bred with a male called Wild Boy at the Cincinnati Zoo last fall. The Toledo Zoo sent Shaka to Cincinnati as part of Species Survival Plan (SSP) in conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This program helps ensure a future for this species through cooperative breeding and conservation.

Shaka returned to Toledo in February pregnant, marking the first time in the history of the cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the U.S. that a cheetah has been sent to another zoo for breeding, and then returned to her home institution to give birth. Since cheetah breeding is most successful in both the wild and in zoo settings when cheetahs have multiple mates to choose from, the cheetah SSP has set up several Regional Cheetah Breeding Facilities in zoos across the U.S. for the purpose of breeding genetically important animals.

Shaka came to The Toledo Zoo in June of 2000 from the Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Center in South Africa, and Wild Boy was a gift to the Cincinnati Zoo from the president of Namibia. Since both parents came from Africa, the two cubs are genetically important to the cheetah population.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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