First-Time Cheetah Mom Gives Birth to 4 Cute Cubs at Omaha Zoo

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska has welcomed 29 cheetah cubs since 2014, with the newest feline additions arriving on Nov. 14

cheetah cubs
Photo: Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has welcomed four adorable additions to its family!

On Tuesday, the Nebraska zoo announced the birth of its newest cheetah cubs. First-time mother Clio gave birth to the quartet at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park on Nov. 14. The father of the cubs is a cheetah named Refu.

The four newborns bring the number of cheetah cubs born at the Wildlife Safari Park since 2014 to 29.

Following the cubs' birth, Clio has been attentive to her brood and is nursing the little cats without issue. According to the zoo, keepers have not disturbed the furry family since the cubs' arrival to facilitate the bonding process. OnDec. 19, the cheetahs' caretaker expects to perform the cubs' first vet exam.

Clio arrived at the wildlife park in April 2022 from the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida, and is five years old. The cubs are eight-year-old Refu's second set of cubs he has sired since arriving at the park in 2019 from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

cheetah cubs
Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is partnered with the National Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition and is one of nine Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions to help facilitate the responsible breeding of cheetahs for conservation.

"These cubs are a great example of the collaboration benefits among zoos," said Dr. Jason Herrick, the vice president of conservation and animal health for Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. "Not long ago, cheetahs were considered one of the more difficult species to breed in zoos."

cheetah cubs
Henry Doorly Zoo

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Because of these collaborative efforts, 25 cheetahs have found a home at the Wildlife Safari Park, including 11 males, five females, and the four newest cubs. Additionally, five females (four sisters and two male cheetahs, who are part of the zoo's Interactive Animals Program, live off-exhibit.

"In addition to the spacious, off-exhibit facilities and dedicated care staff, the key ingredient seems to be choice," said Dr. Herrick. "For most species, we set up one male and one female on a high-stakes blind date and hope for the best. With cheetahs, the large facilities permit us to maintain multiple males and females, which allows them to pick their mate among several eligible bachelors or bachelorettes."

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