Oregon wildlife park Wildlife Safari says a foster cheetah cub from Virginia has been successfully added to a new cheetah family at the park.
Back on Aug. 4, cheetah Lesedi welcomed four healthy cubs — three males and a female. Wildlife Safari said it came after two years of work to make sure Lesedi had a successful pregnancy.
When the cubs were nearly five weeks old and under constant attention from Lesedi, Wildlife Safari said it received an urgent call from Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia. It had a nine-day-old cheetah cub that could no longer stay with its mother. The problem was that cheetahs do not raise single cubs because the mother’s milk production decreases if there is just one cub nursing.
Wildlife Safari agreed to introduce the cub to Lesedi’s family to see if they would bond. Challenges included the fact that the cub was 2 1/2 weeks younger than the other cubs and had been bottle fed for 12 days.
Lesedi accepted the new cub without hesitation, Wildlife Safari said, although the cub needed a little time to get use to nursing from his new mother.
After six days of combined nursing and bottle feeding, the young male cub had entirely transitioned to nursing from his adoptive mother and is doing well.
Wildlife Safari said the collaboration “sets a remarkable precedent for future conservation efforts.
Wildlife Safari is located in Winston, Oregon.