BATON ROUGE, LA — BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has gained two cheetahs from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, the mother, 13-years-old, and daughter, 2-years-old, are now on exhibit.
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammal on the planet, reaching speeds of up to 70 mph, and are also considered the most sociable of the big cats. In the wild, mid-sized antelopes make up the majority of their diet, which are hunted during the day to avoid competition with other big cat species that hunt at night.
Currently identified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List, the biggest identified threats to their population in the wild include competition for food sources from other successful African carnivores as well as persecution by farmers because of livestock predation. International efforts are currently underway to help protect this species in the wild including the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, from which the Zoo’s new 13-year-old cheetah originated.
On Saturday, August 24, the Zoo will host its annual ZooZoom 5K and Fun Run, of which a portion of the registration fees will benefit cheetah conservation. For more information about cheetahs or ZooZoom, please visit www.brzoo.org.