Frequently Asked Questions
When were the cubs born?
Sasha and Zuri were born on May 8, 2023 at Wildlife Safari in Oregon.
When did they move to Lincoln?
They arrived at Lincoln Children’s Zoo on June 19, 2023 at six weeks old.
Why did Sasha and Zuri move to Lincoln?
Wildlife Safari focuses their efforts on breeding cheetahs to help build diverse genetics for the population. Sasha and Zuri were not recommended for future breeding so the focus was shifted to them becoming ambassador animals. Lincoln Children’s Zoo was identified by the cheetah Species Survival Plan as the perfect home for these cubs to become ambassadors for their species.
Why is there a person in the exhibit with the cubs?
Zookeepers and trained volunteers take turns supervising the cubs, as well as training them to be familiar with and exhibit the appropriate behaviors around humans. If Sasha or Zuri exhibit an undesirable behavior, such as chewing on that person or trying to climb on or claw at them, you may see that person “scruff” them or redirect their attention to something else such as a toy. “Scruffing” refers to holding the cubs by the loose skin on their necks (the scruff) and moving them, a behavior their mother would perform in the wild. This training is incredibly important because while that behavior is not necessarily harmful at their current size, it will be harmful when they are full grown.
What do Sasha and Zuri eat?
Sasha and Zuri eat an all-meat diet. The amount they are fed continues to increase as they grow.
When will Sasha and Zuri join the other adult cheetahs in their habitat?
Cheetahs are solitary animals who live alone in the wild, but some will make an exception and live with their litter mates. Sasha and Zuri will never be introduced to any of our other adult cheetahs for this reason, but they will continue to live with each other as they grow up.
Will Sasha and Zuri participate in the Cheetah Run?
The plan is for Sasha and Zuri to eventually participate in the Cheetah Run! Training for the cheetah run will not begin until they are at least one year old and fully developed. Training for the cubs to participate in the cheetah run is enriching for them, as it would be natural for their mom in the wild to teach them how to chase and catch prey.
Can we pet the cheetah cubs?
While Sasha and Zuri are incredibly cute, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and not made to be pets. It takes an entire team of trained professionals here at the zoo to care for them daily. Every interaction our zookeepers and volunteers have with the cubs is intentional and helps to further their training.