- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Zoo in Washington says two of its cheetahs have given birth to cubs.

The zoo announced the birth of the cubs Tuesday. The first cheetah was born Dec. 6 to 5-year-old Amani. A second cub was born Dec. 16 to 9-year-old Zazi. The cubs were born at the zoo’s facility in Front Royal, Va.

The zoo says that cheetahs that give birth to a single cub in the wild generally let the cub die and then breed again to produce a larger litter.

Zoo researchers hand-reared the first cub and later placed it with Zazi, the second cheetah to give birth. Scientists hoped artificially increasing Zazi’s litter would help stimulate her milk production, a problem when only a single cub is born. Researchers say they have now seen both cubs nursing.

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