Kiburi, the newest cheetah at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is 15 weeks old now (see previous post, Cheetah Cub Pounces). He is growing into such a beautiful, handsome cheetah and weighs about 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms). His main diet consists of carnivore diet, a ground-meat product prepared especially for carnivores in managed care. Kiburi still gets his meat four times a day. He’s also been getting beef bones twice a week.
Our little cheetah has been receiving daily visits from our behavior team to start getting him ready to become an ambassador for cheetah conservation. Twice a day, Kiburi’s trainers come to the Park’s Animal Care Center, where Kiburi is staying, to bond with him. This is all part of his training to become one of the Park’s animal ambassadors. He has even been introduced to Hopper, one of the canine companions used by the Behavior Department.
Kiburi has been adjusting very well to all of these new exposures; he’s even been going outside to exercise for about an hour a day in an enclosed area. Through generous donations, we have plans to build a new off-exhibit cheetah enclosure for Kiburi where many of our other animal ambassadors reside. For now, Kiburi’s fans can continue to visit him and watch him grow at the Animal Care Center.
Sandy Craig is a keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.