WATCH: Colchester Zoo’s cheetah cubs explore outside for first time
PUBLISHED: 17:49 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:10 03 July 2020
TOM SMITH/ COLCHESTER ZOO
A litter of four cheetah cubs who were born at Colchester Zoo during the lockdown have been exploring outside for the first time.
Nova, Hope, Star and Colonel Tom – who were named to honour NHS staff working on the cornavirus frontline – are now 11 weeks old and have today ventured outside of their dens to explore the large enclosure.
The cubs were born on April 14 after mum Sia gave birth to five cheetahs.
On Friday, May 8, zookeepers discovered that one of the five cubs – which had not yet been named – had died during a routine early morning inspection.
MORE: Baby cheetah found dead at Colchester Zoo
The unnamed cub was understood to have died overnight and a zoo spokesman described the death as being “extremely sad”.
The three female cubs and the male cub have since been doing well, with mum Sia keeping a watchful eye over them and staying close by on their first trip out.
The cubs will now begin to spend time outside on a regular basis but will take it in turns with the zoo’s two males, their dad Abasi and uncle Azizi.
Colchester Zoo welcomed visitors back after months of closure last week, with social distancing in place and a new app to help navigate around the site safely.
On what is being called ‘Super Saturday’ visitors will once again be able to access all animal enclosures, as the two-metre rule is reduced to ‘one-metre plus’.
A statement on the Colchester Zoo website, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that from Saturday, July 4, we will be reopening all of our indoor buildings with one-metre social distancing.
“To help us keep these indoor buildings open safely, we are kindly asking and advising our visitors to wear masks when visiting these indoor areas.
“We will also be reopening the outdoor adventure play areas for children to enjoy.
“However, it is vitally important that all children are supervised and social distancing is enforced by guardians.”
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