Four adorable cheetah cubs born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, have received their names, thanks to votes cast by the public.
The institute asked the public to help name the litter, who were born on 8 April to first-time mom, five-year-old Echo, and sired by four-year-old Scott. The births were streamed live on the zoo’s new 'Cheetah Cub Cam' webcam, and virtual viewers have been watching the three male and one female cubs' progress ever since. As the cheetah cubs continue to grow, they will spend more time outside the den they're currently in, and the public can check out the photos and videos located on the webcam’s page
Keepers originally identified each cub by small shave marks on different parts of their bodies, and then voters selected their favourite names from a shortlist posted on the zoo’s website. The name that has received the most votes for the female cub is Amabala, which is Zulu for "spots." The names chosen for the three male cubs are Jabari, which is Swahili for "fearless" or "brave one," Hasani, which is Swahili for "handsome," and Erindi, which is the name of the protected reserve in Namibia where many cheetahs are re-released.
SCBI is part of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition, which is a group of ten cheetah breeding centres across the US that aim to create and maintain a sustainable North American cheetah population under human care. You can follow the cubs' progress on the Cheetah Cub Cam here.
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