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Zoo Welcomes 3 New Cheetahs

Year-Old Brothers arrive to Albuquerque from the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas.

Oct. 24, 2018 - The ABQ BioPark recently welcomed three new young male cheetahs.

The brothers - Garbanzo, Pinto and Borracho - were born at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas in May 2017.

"We are very excited to continue our commitment to cheetah conservation and welcome these young cheetahs to Albuquerque," said Erin Flynn, ABQ BioPark mammal curator.
According to Senior Zookeeper Jenn Ericksen, Pinto is the largest and most confident, and has established himself as leader of the pack. Staff is "very excited to start working with these guys," Ericksen added.
Some modifications to the existing cheetah habitat were necessary to accommodate these three new young, energetic males.
During a routine pre-departure exam at Fossil Rim, a small lump was removed from Garbanzo's gums. Although it looked benign, cancerous cells were found in the mass. The ABQ BioPark and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center are working together to conduct follow-up surgery in the hopes of curing the cancer.
"Fossil Rim staff and our veterinary, animal care, and management staff agree that it is in Garbanzo's best interest to bring him to ABQ BioPark with his brothers," said Flynn.

View a video of the three new cheetahs.

In other cheetah news, the ABQ BioPark's nearly 16-year-old female Annabelle has retired behind the scenes where keepers can monitor her closely and accommodate the changing needs of her advanced old age. The median lifespan of cheetahs in human care in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities is 11.6 years.