They are one of the most endangered species on the planet, but there are three more of them around now after Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park announced the arrival of a new set of cheetah triplets.
Fota Wildlife Park, which re-opened its gates on the 20th May after an eight-week closure due to the Covid 19 restrictions, announced the birth of three Northern cheetah cubs to mother Gráinne and father Sam.
Now exactly 12 weeks old the three cubs, all males, were born on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, 2020 and they bring the number of cheetahs born at Fota Wildlife Park to over 230 since the breeding programme began in 1985.
As yet the cubs are unnamed and Fota are inviting the public to suggest the names for the trio.
Cheetahs are listed globally as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and there are only 7,100 remaining in the wild.
However, the Northern cheetah subspecies is considered Endangered as there are less than 800 left in the wild.
Fota Wildlife Park coordinates the European Breeding and management programmes for the Northern cheetah and there are currently 129 Northern cheetahs in 23 Zoological institutions throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Not only is the Cheetah the fastest land animal in the world today, the species has been in existence for between 3.5 and four million years – making it the oldest of Earth’s big cat living species.
The Cheetah had one of the most extensive distributions of any living carnivore, ranging throughout Africa and Asia and it is estimated that in 1900 there were more than 100,000 cheetahs throughout Africa and Asia but by 1975 this number had decreased to less than 20,000.
Today there are less than 7,000 wild cheetah that are now mainly confined to Southern Africa with small numbers in East and North Africa and a tiny population of 30 cheetah in Iran.
Some suggestions have already been made……..
Or our own personal favorite! Pure Cork!
Think you can do better? Send your entry to the park here.