The birth of four Northern cheetah cubs, two males and two females, who were born on the 12th November 2018 to mother Nimpy and father Claude at Fota Wildlife Park has been announced.
The iconic County Cork visitor attraction is now calling on the public to help name the young cubs and be in with a chance to win a year-long conservation membership for each name chosen, entry forms can be found online on www.fotawildlife.ie/blog.
NORTHERN CHEETAH IS CONSIDERED VULNERABlE
Kelly Lambe, Lead Ranger said, “We are delighted to welcome four new cheetah cubs to Fota Wildlife Park as the Northern Cheetah is considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Cheetahs face many threats to their population including the conversion of their natural habitat, grasslands, to agricultural zones, conflict with humans and competition for food with other large predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas.”
She continued: “The cheetah is the most recognisable species here at Fota as not only does it form part of our logo but the studbook for the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for the Northern cheetah is run by the Park’s director – Sean McKeown. To date over 200 cheetahs have been born here since 1985 and many have formed part of cooperative breeding programmes in wildlife parks and zoos across Europe – ensuring the genetic diversity of the species. The involvement in the EEP helps ensure that the world’s fastest land animal does not become extinct and with so few Northern cheetahs existing in the wild, approximately 500, the birth of these cubs is very important for their population.”
Mother Nimpy and father Claude both came from La Palmyre Zoo in France to Fota Wildlife Park in 2012 as part of the EEP and although Nimpy had already bred before, this is the first time that Claude has successfully bred at Fota.
Fota Wildlife Park, set on 100 acres in the heart of Cork Harbour, is a non- profit conservation organisation and is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland.