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DC zoo to hand-raise cubs after rare cheetah birth

After rocky start with mom, Smithsonian's National Zoo to hand-raise 2 cubs from rare birth By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Two cheetah cubs have been transported to the Smithsonian's National Zoo to be raised by hand after a risky birth three weeks ago at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in northern Virginia.

When the cubs' mother, 5-year-old Ally, gave birth to the first cub in late April, problems quickly developed. Ally is a first-time mother and abandoned the first cub. Then Ally's labor stopped, even though she had three more cubs waiting to be born.

Zoo veterinarians performed an emergency cesarean section and saved one more cub and the cheetah mother. Two other cubs died.

Now the zoo is offering a first look at the genetically valuable surviving cubs in their new home Wednesday. The zoo is part of an effort to save this endangered species where "every cat counts."

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