Saturday, July 2, 2022
NewsAnimal NewsScots zoo welcomes the country's only cheetahs

Scots zoo welcomes the country’s only cheetahs

A POPULAR Scots zoo has welcomed the country’s only cheetahs.

Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder last night revealed their four newest residents consist of two males – Ijubane, 3, and Velox, 5 – and two females – Artemis, 5, and Ashanti, 3.

The big cats arrived at the zoo at the beginning of the month but have been kept out of sight from the public until they settled.

The zoo revealed that they arrived from a private collection in England that was closing.

The cheetah up close
The cheetah up close. (C). Five Sisters Zoo

Visitors will be able to get a glimpse of the world’s fastest animals on Friday when zookeepers open the first section of their new exhibit.

The area looks to be complete by May so that animal lovers will be able to see the group of cheetahs, known as a coalition, in all their glory.

The cheetah’s home is set to be the biggest enclosure at the zoo when complete.

Lengthy runs are due to be installed so the majestic spotted animals can stretch their legs and show off their speed.

It is believed that this is the first time in around 20 years that Scotland has housed cheetahs.

One of the new cheetah's takes in it's surrounding
One of the new cheetah’s takes in it’s surroundings. (C). Five Sisters Zoo

Zoo chiefs made the announcement last night over social media while releasing tickets to visitors.

They said: “Cheetahs have arrived at Five Sisters Zoo.

“We are delighted to introduce you all to our four stunning cheetahs, Ijubane, Artimis, Velox and Ashanti.

“We welcomed the iconic big cats at the beginning of the month and we have been giving them some time to settle in.

“We will partly open the exhibit for viewing from April 1st with a view to have it fully complete by May.

“Make sure to book your tickets to come along and see the only cheetahs in Scotland.”

One of the cheetah's in the first phase of their enclosure
The zoo’s cheetahs in one of areas of their new enclosure. (C). Raven Fencing/Five Sisters Zoo

The post has already attracted over 3,300 likes from excited social media users who are hoping to visit the animals.

Alma Bennie said: “The most amazing news.

“Thank you to everybody involved for bringing these beautiful big cats to join your amazing family.

“Can’t wait to meet them.

“Well done everyone.”

Jennifer Eadie said: “Oh my god, my absolute favourite animal.

“I am beyond excited at this.”

Kerry Greenan said: “Yas, best zoo ever.

“I spent my last anniversary there before covid and will be defo spending it here this year as soon as I can.

“Keep up the amazing work and thank you so much for all you do to help and save these amazing animals.”

Margaret Fisher said: “Amazing.

“Thank you for all the care you show each individual animal, giving them a fantastic and safe place to live.

“Keep up the good work, the world is a better place having people like yourselves in it.”

Linda Wilson said: “Will definitely be making another visit.

“My favourite big cat.”

Adam Welsh, Head of Education at Five Sisters Zoo, today said: “We are thrilled to house the only cheetahs in Scotland.

Three of the cheetah's in their new enclosure
Three of the cheetah’s in their new enclosure. (C). Raven Fencing/Five Sisters Zoo

“The cheetahs have been off show to the public since their arrival at the start of March.

“This has given them time to explore their new surroundings.

“Keepers are really happy with how they have settled in.

“Ijubane, Velox, Artemis and Ashanti will be incredibly important ambassadors for their species and we are sure these iconic big cats will be popular with visitors.”

Five Sisters Zoo is home to a variety of around 180 species of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world.

They have also housed rescued circus bears and lions.

Glasgow Zoo were loaned two cheetahs, Clint and Jacaranda, by Edinburgh Zoo in the late 90’s.

The pair were unable to breed with the male becoming aggressive towards its prospective female mate.

Jacaranda died in 2001.

Cheetahs are native to most of Sub-Saharan Africa and extended eastward into the Middle East and to central India.

Sadly now they exist in fragmented populations in central Iran and southern, eastern and northwestern Africa.

The cats are known to reach top speeds of 58-61mph and in 2016 their wild population was estimated at around 7,100.

Related Stories