The cheetah, Bingwa, has just lived up to her name. Because “bingwa” means “champion” in Swahili, and the 4-year-old St. Louis Zoo animal recently gave birth to a record-breaking brood of 8 cheetah pups. My mother frequently tells me that even as a single child, I could be too much at times. I believe we owe it to this wild cat to congratulate her and wish her well!
This is the first time in over 430 litters documented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that a cheetah has given birth and raised her own eight cubs in a zoo. These large cats have an average litter size of three to four cubs.
According to the zoo, Bingwa is already an excellent mother to her three sons and five daughters. “She has swiftly mastered the care of her large litter of pups.” “We’re grooming, breastfeeding, and caring for them with great attention,” said Steve Bircher, the zoo’s curator of mammals/carnivores. Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, has loaned her to the zoo. Jason, the father, is on loan from White Oak Wildlife Conservation in Yulee, Fla.
Bingwa’s achievement is now more essential than ever. The world’s fastest land mammal is on the verge of extinction. Only 7,100 of these uncommon cats are thought to be left in the wild. According to the most recent cheetah census, these predatory fluffs may drop by an additional 53% within the next 15 years.