Keepers 'overjoyed' as cheetah cub born at Africa Alive

A baby cheetah at Africa Alive, run by the zoological society of east anglian in Kessingland, Suffolk at 5 weeks old

The Africa Alive cub at five weeks. The public can see the cheetah at the Kessingland wildlife park from next week - Credit: Africa Alive

Bosses at a Suffolk wildlife park say they are "overjoyed" at the birth of park's first cheetah cub in ten years.

Keepers discovered the new cheetah cub nestled next to her mother at Africa Alive, near Kessingland, on the August 1 this year. 

Now the public will be able to see the new arrival at the wildlife park from October 2. And people are being offered the chance to name the cheetah cub in a competition on their social media channels in late October.

The cub has spent the first eight weeks of its life settling into its new surroundings, and has been vaccinated, microchipped and sexed by the keepers — revealing that she is female.

Mother cheetah Kilima and baby at Africa Alive near Kessingland, Suffolk

Kilima the cheetah looking after her cub at Africa Alive - Credit: Africa Alive

Kilima, the 10-year-old mother, was among the last litter born at the wildlife park and Mark Woolham, head of living collections said "she has so far proved to be an excellent Mum".

"She’s very attentive to the needs of her offspring and we are very much looking forward to sharing our latest new arrival with visitors to the park," he said.

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"Cheetahs housed in zoos in Europe as part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria breeding programme provide a potential safety net for the wild population, not to mention acting as ambassadors for their wild counterparts and enabling all zoos to raise awareness of their plight in the wild.”

The birth had been planned for two years, with Kilima first moving to Banham Zoo in the hopes she would breed with a male called Shaka.

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When this did not work they tried her luck with another male, Dago. 

The female cheetah was then moved to Africa Alive, where she gave birth to the cub. 

Haylee Parker, team leader at Africa Alive, said: “Kilima was one of the last cubs to be born here at Africa Alive and has been housed at both Africa Alive and Banham Zoo, so it is amazing that she has now given birth at the park as well and is the very proud mum to our newest addition.

"She has been easy to work with since giving birth, albeit a little feisty from time to time, and it looks like the cub may well follow in mum’s footsteps as she has been copying Kilima with a few feisty moments of her own.”

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