POWELL, Ohio — History was made when two cheetah cubs were born through in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer at the Columbus Zoo last week.
In what was described as a “groundbreaking scientific breakthrough,” cubs are the first of the larger cat species to have successfully been born through in vitro fertilization, according to a press release from the Columbus Zoo.
While the biological mother of the cubs is Kibibi, the male and female cubs were delivered by first time mother, Isabelle on February 19 at 9:50 p.m. and 10:20 p.m.
“These two cubs may be tiny but they represent a huge accomplishment, with expert biologists and zoologists working together to create this scientific marvel,” said Dr. Randy Junge, the Columbus Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health. “This achievement expands scientific knowledge of cheetah reproduction, and may become an important part of the species’ population management in the future.”
Scientists estimate that there are only about 7,500 cheetahs, according to the release.