cheetah cub

cheetah cub

The gestation (pregnancy) period for the cheetah is 93 days, cheetah cub and litters range in size from one or two up to six cubs (the occasional litter of eight cubs has been recorded, but it is rare). Cub mortality is higher in protected areas like national parks and wildlife reserves where proximity to large predators is greater than in non-protected areas. In such areas, the cheetah cub mortality can be as high as 90%.

cheetah cub

Cheetahs are usually solitary animals, with males and females only coming together to mate. Females then raise the cubs on their own.

Cheetah females have a gestation period of 92-95 days; and will give birth to a litter of approximately three or five cubs, the cubs weighing in at around 250 grams at birth. Cheetah cubs are completely helpless and blind at birth, however they develop rapidly and within 10 days their eyes have opened and they have begun to crawl around the nest area. By three weeks old their teeth have broken through their gums.

Due to the dangers posed by other predators the female will move the cubs to a new den every few days, and for the first six weeks she will leave them alone most of the time, allowing her to go off and hunt. She will often have to travel fairly long distances to catch prey and may leave the cubs for a long period of time. During this stage, cub mortality is very high, and up to 90% of cubs can die in the wild. Once the cubs have reached six weeks, they start to follow their mother around and begin to eat meat from her kills. From this point onwards the mother and cubs are inseparable until they are weaned.

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