Amani may have moved the cubs off cam, but keepers are pleased to report the family is doing great!
On Oct. 19, 4-year-old cheetah mom, Amani, moved her two male cubs from the den into the tall grasses in the yard. A lot of cheetah mothers do this, both in human care and in the wild. Dens can become filled with the mother and cubs’ scent after a while, which could attract unwanted visitors. In the wild there are a lot more predators for cheetahs to worry about, and Amani is likely following her natural instincts. The grasses are very dense and provide wonderful cover and protection. It’s a perfect den to a cheetah mom, and very similar to what a female would choose in the wild.
Lucky webcam viewers might have gotten a preview of this move if they tuned in on Oct. 13 (watch it here now). Learning how to pick up and move cubs takes experience. While we cannot confirm Amani was trying to move the cubs on the 13, we did watch her practice picking them up. The boys were a bit too wriggly at the time, but after a few days she figured it out! When she finally did move the cubs, she had mastered the technique of gently picking them up by the scruff. It took her less than 10 minutes!