3 October

Cubs!


The study's female cheetahs introduce us to a plethora of new cubs

It's been a busy few weeks out on the plains since my last post; in the past couple of months our female cheetahs have introduced the Project to no fewer than 21 new cubs!  Our females Tia Maria, Sheridan, LS226F3, Emily, Xenia Onatopp, HON370F and Vitalis as well as a couple of new, mysterious females have all produced new litters.  The cubs vary in their exact ages, ranging from about 6 months to a very tiny (and very cute) 6 weeks!  The reason for the differences in ages is that none of the cheetahs we follow have radio collars so we can't follow the individuals in our study area very closely or regularly - we rely on them cooperating with us and sitting in places where we can spot them with our binoculars.  For Tia Maria and Sheridan these are their first litters; the two are sisters and are only about 3 years old themselves.  Tia Maria has two six month old cubs, one male and one female; whereas Sheridan has three cubs, one female and two males, although hers are a little younger at about five months old.  The most impressive looking litter belongs to Emily, this is her third litter and it consists of no fewer than five cubs!  She is doing very well so far, the cubs are about eight months old at the moment, and despite there being quite slim-picking as far as food is concerned down in the Ndutu area during dry season Emily is managing to keep her little ones quite well fed.  Hopefully all our new families will continue to thrive!

 Emily and her five young cubs