Help the San Diego Zoo Safari Park name its cheetah cubs!
Two cheetah cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park need names. And you’re invited to help name the baby girls.
Two names are offered for the first cub. Tadala, which means “we have been blessed” in the Chewa language, and Sizani, which in Zulu means “you all help,”
The second cub, now temporarily named “Yellow,” will be either named “Blondi,” or “Blondie” in Zulu, or “Lesedi,” which means “light” in the Tswana dialect.
Vote for the second cub’s name at j.mp/cheetahyellow.
A third cub in the litter, a male, has been named by a benefactor. The names of all three will be revealed next week.
You can visit the cubs at the Safari Park at the nursery in the Nairobi Station area.
This isn’t the first cheetah girl cub pair cared for at the Zoo. In late 2016, two sisters arrived, and they were cared for in the nursery. They were weaned in January, according to an online story in Zoonooz, the Zoo’s magazine for the public.
Cheetahs in the wild face very severe threats to their existence. Their numbers have been dropping precipitously.
Found in Africa and a small part of Iran, cheetahs are classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The IUCN estimates the worldwide cheetah population has dropped from 100,000 in 1900 to just 7,000 today, with about 10 percent living in zoos or wildlife parks.
Besides humans, cheetah survival is threatened by their lack of genetic diversity. The population experienced a bottleneck about 10,000 years ago, when the species came close to extinction.
Without a diverse gene pool, cheetahs are vulnerable to diseases, from infections to inherited complications of inbreeding.
So the San Diego Zoo and allies across the world are actively at work in raising and protecting cheetahs in a human-controlled environment, providing some measure of insurance against extinction.
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