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World's first in virtro cheetah cubs born at the Columbus Zoo

Posted at 10:32 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 10:32:31-05

The world's first in virtro cheetah cubs were delivered at the Columbus Zoo on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 9:50 p.m. and 10:20 p.m.

While the cubs' biological mother is Kibibi, the cubs were delivered by Isabelle (Izzy). One of the cubs is female and the other is male.

Izzy is a first-time mom and has been providing great care to her cubs according to Jen Fields, Director of Communications for Columbus Zoo.

“These two cubs may be tiny but they represent a huge accomplishment, with expert biologists and zoologists working together to create this scientific marvel,” said Dr. Randy Junge, the Columbus Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health. “This achievement expands scientific knowledge of cheetah reproduction, and may become an important part of the species’ population management in the future.”

The zoo is limiting access to the cheetah's private birthing area at this time.

“These two cubs may be tiny but they represent a huge accomplishment, with expert biologists and zoologists working together to create this scientific marvel,” said Dr. Randy Junge, the Columbus Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health. “This achievement expands scientific knowledge of cheetah reproduction, and may become an important part of the species’ population management in the future.”

“The first thing we had to do is show that this technique works,” said Dr. Junge. “Then we have to become proficient in it, so we can do it efficiently and reliably. With experience, we may be able to freeze embryos and transfer them to Africa.”