1 February 2013
It seems like just yesterday that we first set eyes upon our two new cheetah cubs. It has been almost a whole year since then, and William and Josh are growing up fast!
They came to us from South Africa, from a conservation breeding facility near Johannesburg, making the journey to Australia in style, flying with Singapore Airlines. They were just eight months old, and still had all their baby fluff. Although the boys are now nearly full grown, at 20 months of age they are still considered juveniles as cheetah usually mature at around two years of age. William is currently 47kg and Josh 49kg making them ten kilograms heavier than our female cheetah Sheeba, and gaining fast on our adult males Echo and Foxtrot.
At Australia Zoo we strive to provide the best possible care for our animals and as cheetahs are a very intelligent animal we try to keep their day as interesting, varied and exciting as possible. One of the best ways we can enrich their everyday lives is to get them out of their compound and out for walks around the zoo. Every walk is different; there is always something new and exciting to see, and new people to meet. We like to give them treats while they are out on their walks. Ice-blocks are usually the treat of choice, especially during the hot time of the year as it keep them cool and hydrated. They have the choice between sardine, salmon, tuna, whiskers cat milk, and whiskers cat biscuits. William prefers the whiskers cat biscuits ice-blocks the most - he enjoys chewing the ice-block instead of licking, which means he finishes it very quickly. Josh on the other hand loves frozen sardines, and its kind of obvious as his eyes close and his tongue goes like mad!
All of our cheetahs have their own unique personalities.
Sheeba has a very high prey drive, making her more likely to seek out animals or vehicles that she'd love to chase. Foxtrot is our most nervous cheetah; he needs a lot more reassurance from his handlers whilst out on his walks. William and Josh are our two cheekiest boys. They both enjoy watching the animals in the savannah, and stalking cars as they go past, interspersed with a bit of rough and tumble with each other. Despite their cheekiness, they are very responsive to training and are an absolute pleasure to work with. Without fail, everyone who has met them falls in love with them instantly.
Next time you're at Australia zoo make sure you stop by Africa, and check out William and Josh - or one of our other beautiful spotty cheetah - on one of their daily adventures!
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