Busch Gardens in Florida has welcomed two new adorable additions – three-month-old cheetah cubs. The Busch Gardens animal care team is providing 24-hour-care as the cubs continue to get stronger and explore their new home.
The cubs weigh approximately 5.4 kilograms, the same as five bags of sugar. Their names, which were given by the Busch Gardens animal care team, are Tendai, meaning “thankful,” and Thabo, meaning “joy.”
Once the cubs are old enough, they will move to Cheetah Run, the innovative cheetah habitat that opened alongside Busch Gardens’ triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt, in 2011. Until then, guests can see the cubs at various times throughout the day in the Edge of Africa area at the park, or behind the scenes at the Animal Care Center.
Get a first look at the cheetah cubs by visiting the Busch Gardens YouTube channel.
Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as on the US Endangered Species Act list of threatened species. Upon reaching maturity, the cubs may also become an important part of Busch Gardens’ cheetah breeding program that will help boost the cheetah population. These births are part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. Busch Gardens’ participation helps create genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations to guarantee the long-term future of these animals.
Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, one of the world’s foremost zoological organisations and a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations.