They grow up so fast, don't they? Mother takes baby cheetahs out for a spot of exercise


Mother Dubai sticks close to her young cubs after venturing out their den for their first time

Like any doting mother, Dubai the cheetah stuck close to her young cubs as they ventured into the unknown for the first time.
But thankfully for these 12-week-old cubs there were no predators in sight, as their new surrounding was a safe enclosure at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
A set of endearing pictures shows the moment the litter of seven gingerly took their first steps for their public debut at the Zoo's Cheetah Rock today.

The dozy-looking cheetahs, who are only 12-weeks-old, are getting used to their new surroundings

But the cubs, which are yet to be named, soon found their confidence and were seen playing with mum Dubai, jumping over rocks and chasing each other.
Each with five or sex brothers or sisters to play with it, was a whole new world of fun for the sextuplets who still had some reassuring affection from mum throughout the day.

Protective mum Dubai keeps a careful look out while her litter get used to their new environment

It was the first time the youngsters had been allowed outside after spending their first few weeks in the safety of their den.
The 12-week-olds are the second litter of the Northern cheetah, an endangered species, to be born at the zoo.

The cubs cower next to here and she susses out the enclosure for the first time with her young

But the young cubs soon show their mischievous side as they investigate a fallen tree

Senior keeper Marie Brown said: 'All seven are extremely playful but mum's very patient with them all and is doing a great job of bringing them up.'
The births comes two years after Dubai gave birth to her first cubs, which were the first litter of Northern cheetah cubs ever born in the UK.
It means the cubs are a cause for great celebration for both the Zoo and the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP), who in 2010 estimated that there are less than 250 of the critically endangered subspecies remaining in the wild.
ZSL works in Algeria to help protect the cheetahs in the wild, and conservationists from ZSL were the first to record camera-trap images of the elusive species in 2009.

Copying mum: The young cub tries to show his aggressive side but still manages to look cute

But despite the freedom of the enclosure, the youngsters show there is still nothing better than some reassuring affection from mum

It is the second litter of cubs for cheetah Dubai, who had the UK's first litter of Northern cheetah in 2010

source: dailymail