What could be cuter than....
...puppies and cubs? :)
The Zoo is now home to 2 male Cheetah cubs and 1 male and 1 female Anatolian Shepherd puppies! The cubs are only a couple weeks old and are currently being hand raised by 4 very dedicated staff members. More people will be worked in to the feeding/care rotation as the weeks go on. The puppies are both 12 weeks old and are from a breeder in Missouri. You can check out the breeder's blog here. We are very taken with all four babies!
Eventually all four of them will be introduced to each other. They will program animals and will help educate guests on cheetahs, the threats to their survival and the conservation efforts that are underway to save them. The last part is where the puppies come in. Anatolian Shepherds are livestock guarding dogs (LGDs for short). These dogs are being donated to ranchers/farmers in Africa to help protect their livestock. Cheetahs are less likely to attach flock or herd of animals that are protected by an LGD. This means that the ranchers/farmers are less likely to go out and kill cheetahs. For more information about the LGD/Cheetah program in Africa, check out the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Here are some pictures of the cheetah cubs and the puppies.
This picture is one that my supervisor sent us when she went to pick up the cubs from White Oak. They are only a few days old in this picture.
And here are some pictures I took of the puppies yesterday. At least one of the Carnivore staff will be going to the clinic every day to do "puppy play time" and bond with them.
This is the boy. Ain't he handsome?
Both puppies. The boy is in front and the girl is in the back.
Puppy wrestling!!! :)