It’s been a weird week, so let’s just take a moment to appreciate the delightful news coming from New Straits Times that a pair of cheetah cubs, Flash and Dash, born at Zoo Negara in June are in good health, and hella cute.
Visiting media said that the duo largely avoided the new humans [Ed. Note: Same], and were “overwhelmed by the attention they were getting.” They amused themselves by playing hide and seek with each other.
Occasionally, one of the cubs would make a noise described as that of a chirping bird, which is pretty apt, if this YouTube clip is anything to go by:
The noise is usually used by young cheetahs to dissuade predator animals from approaching when they are not with their mother.
Umar Arshad is the zookeeper charged with attending to Flash and Dash, both males, said the pair were quite used to being around humans, as they had been raised around them since birth.
“It is different from tiger cubs that were raised by their mother. They are more aggressive and don’t like it when humans get close to them,” he explained.
NST reports that the pair are the progeny of South African cheetahs Tianna and Tyson, so came to Zoo Negara via the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center, located in the northeast of the country, near the Mozambique border.
Flash and Dash were originally in a litter of six, but they were they only two that survived, after their mother, Tianna, began eating her offspring, one by one.
Here is Tianna with her young before her cannibal foeticide:
Zoo deputy president Rosly Rahmat Ahmat Lana said that it is a “natural animal instinct where the adults eliminate the weakest ones.”
“We didn’t separate them immediately as we feared that it would be detrimental to the cubs’ health as they were feeding on their mother’s milk. However, we decided to take a risk and rescue Flash and Dash. Fortunately, they are doing well and did not show signs of illnesses.”
He added that the two were being given formula, in lieu of feeding from their mother.
Flash and Dash have another sibling, named Bolt, who has a distinct fur pattern caused by a rare mutation, referred to as King Cheetah.
Tianna and Tyson live in a separate enclosure, having arrived on our shores in February 2018. In exchange for the pair, Zoo Negara gifted a chimpanzee to their African counterparts.
“Male and female adult cheetahs can do well together, said Rosly.
“It is a different story with pandas. For example, female and male pandas can only be placed together a few days in a year during their mating period. Other times, they could get aggressive and attack each other.”
[Ed. Note: Same.]
This article, Cheetah Boyz: Three month old cubs born at Zoo Negara are getting us through today, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!