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Cheetahs At National Zoo Kill White-Tailed Deer

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Cheetahs Carmelita and Justin celebrate their first birthday at Smithsonian's National Zoo in April 2013.
Jen Zoon, Smithsonian's National Zoo
Cheetahs Carmelita and Justin celebrate their first birthday at Smithsonian's National Zoo in April 2013.

Two cheetahs at The Smithsonian's National Zoo got an unexpected snack this weekend.

Zoo officials say a wild white-tailed deer was killed after it jumped into the cheetah enclosure on Friday. A spokeswoman for the zoo called it "a normal and expected reaction'' by the large carnivorous cats.

A zookeeper heard noises from the cheetah pen shortly before noon and found the deer carcass next the cheetah siblings, named Carmelita and Justin.

Doctors will examine the carcass to make sure the deer didn't have any diseases. No witnesses saw the deer entering the cat's habitat.


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