Cheetahs arrive at Hunter Valley Zoo

These brothers are like any other cats, they stalk, tumble, play and can be very picky at times. But these cats weigh in at 50 kilograms and can run at speeds of more than 110 kilometres per hour.

Cheetahs Aibu and Jabari are the two new residents at Hunter Valley Zoo in Pokolbin. They made their debut on Friday after being imported from a zoo in Europe. 

The brothers were two of four siblings to make the journey to Australia in a partnership between the Hunter zoo and the Darling Down zoo in Queensland.

“The plan is to introduce a female for breeding,” zoo owner Jason Pearson said.

“Female cheetahs are solitary by nature, while the males form a coalition like these brothers.

“In the wild the males will wander into the females area and she will select one of them. It is a bit like a nightclub really.”

Both cheetahs have their own personality and their names reflect their temperament. Jabari means brave and fearless which matches his outgoing nature. While the more timid Aibu’s name means shy cat. 

Unlike the retractable claws of big cats such as lions, cheetahs have a very different means of catching their prey. They have talons on their paws and they use these to trip up animals as they give chase.

The brothers will have time now to settle into their new enclosure in the valley.

“They are like all cats, they do whatever they wish,” Mr Pearson said. 

“Right now they are more fixated on all of the other animals then anything I have to say to them.” 

This story Cheetah brothers call Hunter home first appeared on Newcastle Herald.


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