: News

Zoo Cheetahs Give Birth To New Cubs

Play associated audio

Cheetahs are difficult to breed in captivity, and the number of births has dwindled in North America over the past five years. But scientists at the National Zoo say two of their cheetahs have given birth to cubs this month.

The two cubs were born to different mothers at the zoo's facility in Front Royal, Va. -- and it was no accident. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan pairs genetically compatible animals from across the country and moves them around to breed.

It's a way to maximize genetic diversity and grow a species while keeping it's members genetically healthy. The births are also notable because usually in the wild, when a mother gives birth to only one cub -- called a singleton -- she won't be able to produce enough milk and will let it die.

Raising cubs is difficult, and it's rare for all of them to survive, so mothers find it a better use of resources to scrap a singleton and try to have a larger litter the next time around. To get around that, zoo keepers placed both cubs with one mother to simulate a larger litter and promote milk production.

Few zoos have successfully cross-fostered cubs in this way. This brings the total number of cheetahs under the zoo's care to 13.

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

Google's already tested three of the pollution-sensor equipped cars in Denver, and is currently trying them out in the Bay Area.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.