Keepers at Longleat in Wiltshire are delighted to announce that the names for the newest additions to the safari park, two cheetah cubs, are Poppy and Winston.
The cheetah is officially classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, which means it is likely to become ‘Endangered’ unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.
In 2008, the IUCN estimated there to be around 7,500 to 10,000 adult cheetahs in Africa and there are concerns the numbers have decreased significantly.
The births, coming almost five years after cheetahs first arrived, are welcome as the cubs are part of the European Endangered Species Programme.
Longleat’s Arabian rock hyrax unexpectedly gave birth to triplets recently too. It’s the first time the species, also known as the stone badger or dassie, has bred at the attraction and this came as a big surprise as staff were unaware the female was pregnant.