Rejected Cheetah Cubs Hand-Reared at San Diego Zoo


Looking like a poster child for South African tourism, Johari, a 2-month-old African cheetah, is one of four cheetah cubs being raised by keepers at San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park.

The cub and its two siblings, a male named Shiley and a female named Taraji, were born on May 24 and were rejected by their mother, the zoo said.

“On June 17, a single female cheetah named Lindiwe was born to an inexperienced mother, so keepers intervened,” the zoo added in a statement. “Often when a single cub is born, the mother chooses to walk away because the chance of one cub surviving is minimal.”

All four cubs were moved to the care center where they are being hand-raised by keepers.

The cheetah is listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals

Photo taken July 31, 2009, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park.

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn