Five cheetah cubs were receiving critical care Friday at the Cincinnati Zoo after veterinarians performed a rare C-section on their 5-year-old mother “Willow” last week, according to zoo officials.
The three male and two female cubs were born prematurely at the zoo’s regional cheetah breeding facility in Clermont County on March 8.
They were immediately moved to the nursery at the Cincinnati Zoo where they were receiving round-the-clock care with bottle feedings every three hours, according to a blog post on the zoo’s website.
“The cubs were born under difficult circumstances,” Dr. Campbell, Director of Animal Health at the Cincinnati Zoo stated in the post. “We are doing all we can to keep them healthy and strong, but it will be a challenge for these cubs moving forward.”
The cubs were expected to remain in the nursery for at least 8 to 12 weeks.
Their mother Willow was still recovering from surgery.
Fifty-four cheetah cubs have born at the zoo’s Mast Farm since it opened in 2002, according to the website.