POWELL, Ohio (FOX19/AP) - Ohio zoo officials have announced that two cheetah cubs have been born through in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer to a surrogate mother for the first time.
While the cubs’ biological mom is Kibibi, the cubs were delivered on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10:20 p.m. by Isabelle (Izzy), according to officials at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
One of the cubs is male and the other is female.
The zoo’s vice president of animal health says this development could have broader implications for managing the species’ population in the future.
“These two cubs may be tiny but they represent a huge accomplishment, with expert biologists and zoologists working together to create this scientific marvel,” said Dr. Randy Junge, the Columbus Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health. “This achievement expands scientific knowledge of cheetah reproduction, and may become an important part of the species’ population management in the future.”
Officials say it was the third time scientists have attempted the procedure and it was the first time it worked.