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Historical Moment: Two Cheetah Cubs Born By Surrogate Mother

This a groundbreaking scientific breakthrough! After 20 years of trying to increase the cheetah population, there might be hope for their species yet! 

Columbus Zoo, Ohio, has reported that two cheetah cubs (a male and female) were born February 19th, 2020. The birth is thanks to a procedure that took place at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. For the first time in history, US scientists were able to delivery two cubs via vitro fertilisation (IVF), using a surrogate cheetah.

The surrogate mother, Izzy, is a three-year-old cheetah who carried the eggs harvested from six-year-old Kabibi, and sperm from a cheetah at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas. 

Timeline of the historical procedure according to the Smithsonian's National Zoo website:

  • Nov. 14 and 18: The female cheetahs were given hormone injections to develop mature follicles.
  • Nov. 19: Eggs (oocytes) were taken from Izzy and Kibibi. Neither had reproduced previously.
  • Nov. 19: Semen from male cheetah thawed and eggs fertilized.
  • Nov. 21: Team implanted nine embryos in Isabelle (Izzy) and six in second cheetah, Ophelia. A typical cheetah gestation is 93 days.
  • Dec. 23: Izzy was confirmed pregnant via ultrasound, which appeared to show two cubs. The ultrasound confirmed that Ophelia was not pregnant.
  • Feb. 16: Izzy's care providers begin an around-the-clock video birth watch
  • Feb. 19: Cubs born

How amazing is that? Thanks to all the hard working scientists who are keeping these beautiful creature from going extinct! 

Story via CBS News

cheetah cubs history surrogate science animals amazing ivf in vitro fertilization test tube baby | two baby kittens cheetah cubs tiny spots newborn with their eyes still closed dark fur fuzzy fluffy sitting in straws
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Mega Cheet-a-licious Collection To Boost Morale (50 Cheetah Pics)

Here is a MASSIVE cheetah dump to fill your soul with some needed energy, enough to get your through this week and maybe even through next week. That's how powerfully huge this dump is. 

Thanks to Imgur user, JTChee, for rounding up these delicious cheeta-riffic pics and gifs for the world to enjoy!


cute pics of cheetahs | baby cheetahs with cute happy faces and lots of spots, Adorable cheetah is wearing a baseball cap and it shouldn't be this cute
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Photos Of Dog And Cheetah Besties At Cincinnati Zoo Are Seriously Too Cute

Cutest best friends ever? We think so! Kris, the cheetah cub, was born July 9th and sadly lost her two siblings due to their mom Neena not being able to produce enough milk to sustain the cubs. 

In fear that Neena might abandon her last cub, caretakers at the Cincinnati Zoo stepped in and brought in a professional leader -- a dog! Blakely, the dog, came into the picture to "serve as a role model" the staff told PEOPLE

However, Blakely was retired and came out of retirement for the sole purpose of raising this cheetah cub. As it turns out though, Blakely was more than ready to get back to that retirement life just after a few months. 

Thus, a new canine stepped up to the plate! Remus, a mixed-breed rescue, is now Kris's newest (and from the looks of it, "best-est") friend! 

Seriously, it doesn't get any cuter than Remus and Kris! The two were photographed sharing toys and playing hide-n-seek!

Read more about the dog and cheetah pairings Cincinnati Zoo has paired over the years!

cute dog cheetah friends
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10 Crazy Cheetah Facts

You probably know that cheetahs are the fastest animals on earth. And if you didn't, well there's a fact for ya. But we've got 10 more pretty crazy facts about cheetahs that not many average joes know about. If you want improve your database of random useless facts (we actually think they're very useful, especially for trivia), keep on reading and soak up that knowledge. 

wtf facts about cheetahs
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Cheetah Breaks Record And Gives Birth To 8 Healthy Cubs

Bingwa, the 4-year old St. Louis Zoo cheetah, has more than just lived up to her name. "Bingwa" in Swahili means "champion" and what a more than fit name for the new mother of 8 cubs! What makes this so amazing is that, this is the first time a cheetah has given birth to eight adorable cubs at a zoo! Quite the accomplishment! (The average litter size is three to four cubs)

h/t: Majestic bunny

cheetah cute cubs world record - 4465413
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Zoos Are Pairing Cheetahs With Dogs For “Emotional Support"

Dogs have long been considered man's best friend, but their characteristics of loyalty and protectiveness have also earned them the lesser known title of "cheetah's best friend." That's right; dogs are being used more and more frequently to assist in conservation efforts to preserve the endangered cheetah in captivity.  

Zoos gives shy cheetahs dogs for emotional support
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The Smithsonian Zoo Just Welcomed 10 Cheetah Cubs and We're in Awe

The tiny big cats are from two litters that were born less than a week apart! You can read more about them here.

big cats cub cheetah zoo - 1913605
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