This weekend, the San Diego Zoo revealed images of six, count them, six cubs that were born to an eight-and-a-half-year-old cheetah named Addison back in November, and… oh my… are they ever frigging cute. If you’re wondering, yes, six is an unusually large number of cubs for a female cheetah to produce in one litter. Addison previously gave birth to four cubs that now reside at the Safari Park’s Okavango Outpost.
The zoo writes in a San Diego Zoo Nooz blog post that the large litter came as a surprise to everyone:
“A radiograph had shown she was definitely carrying three cubs, and possibly a fourth,” explains Jillian King, a senior keeper at the Cheetah Breeding Center. But when the staff arrived on November 21, 2015 and checked the closed-circuit cameras in the den, they counted half a dozen squeaking, squirming, bitsy bundles of spotted fluff.
Currently, zoo keepers are working to socialize the cubs, which will stay with their mother for a year before possibly being moved to other locations to help reinforce the world’s cheetah population. But for now, the cubs are having fun romping around and playing with one another at the San Diego Zoo.
And on that note, did someone say “video of adorable cheetah cubs playing?” Because you better believe there’s video: