Want the latest on Echo and her four cubs? Keep reading for a quick #cubdate Q&A with cheetah biologist Adrienne Crosier.
How are the cubs doing?
The cubs are all active and nursing regularly. That's exactly what we want to see.
How is Echo doing as a first-time mom?
Echo is doing great. She is very attentive to the cubs. She left the den for the first time on April 9, but only for a minute or so each time.
When you watch the webcam, what are you looking for?
As a keeper, I look for mom being attentive. If the cubs vocalize (make a chirping noise) we want to see her attend to them, because it usually means they may need to eat, urinate/defecate, get warm, or just need some mom cuddle time. We also want to see her groom them regularly and she has.
What is normal cub behavior?
The cheetah cubs mostly eat (nurse) and sleep right now. They will pile up together when mom leaves them to eat or drink. As they get older and more mobile, they will begin to play more with each other and with mom.
How big are the cubs?
Cheetah cubs grow rapidly, gaining about 50 grams per day.
What comes next for the cubs?
Development is fast at this age! The cubs should open their eyes soon — usually four to seven days after birth. They will also become more mobile each day.
Cheetah Echo gave birth to four cubs April 8, 2020, on the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's webcam, streaming live from Front Royal, Virginia. Tune in 24/7 to watch the cubs on the Cheetah Cub Cam.