Fota's newborn cheetah cubs come out to play

Fota's newborn cheetah cubs come out to play
Two of the three new endangered Northern cheetah cubs born in June. Picture: Darragh Kane

Fota Wildlife Park has welcomed three endangered Northern cheetah cubs - one male and two females.

The cute trio were born on June 10 to mother Nimpy and father Sam.

Over the past few days, the curious cubs have begun to venture out of their cubbing den and explore their habitat in Cheetah Hill.

The little ones have been enjoying the weather, playing together in the grass and on the logs.

The arrival of the cubs brings the total number of the endangered species born in Fota to 204.

The newest arrivals are the second litter of the cheetah cubs since the park re-opened in May.

Parents, ten-year-old Nimpy from France and four-year-old Sam from Dubai, are part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Northern cheetah breeding programme.

Lead ranger Julien Fonteneau said the Northern cheetah is the most successful breeding programme at Fota.

In fact, the species has become synonymous with the wildlife park and even features on the logo.

A 2017 expert report on the decline of the cheetah suggested that in the natural range of the species, there were fewer than 2,800 left in the wild in the whole of East and North Africa.

The Asiatic cheetah is critically endangered in Iran with less than 40 animals left in the wild.

Fota are asking the public to get creative and help them to name the cubs.

If they think your suggestion is spot on then you could win one of three year-long annual passes to the park.

To enter your suggestion and to be in with a chance of winning visit fotawildlife.ie and fill in the form.

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