Mother Cheetah Gives Birth to 8 Cubs - Double the Size of a Normal Litter
This mother cheetah may just be the new “Octomom” in town.
Bingwa, which means “champion” in Swahili, gave birth to a litter of eight cubs at the cheetah breeding center in the Saint Louis Zoo.
While the average litter size for the species is three or four cubs, animal caretakers said Bingwa has been excellent at rearing her eight babies all on her own.
"She has quickly become adept at caring for her very large litter of cubs — grooming, nursing and caring for them attentively," curator of mammals Steve Bircher said in a statement.
The cubs, three males and five females, were born in November, and while caretakers said the first several months are critical, they reported both the mother and the cubs are doing well.
Cheetahs are extinct in 13 countries, and keepers said the newborn cubs are crucial for the survival of the species.
The new family will be bonding behind-the-scenes for the next several months until they are old enough to be featured for guests of the zoo.