CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) - They just might be the most famous cheetahs in the world right now.
All eyes have been on these five cubs born at the Metro Richmond Zoo last month and fans were in for a real treat when the zoo webcast their six-week checkup.
It's vaccine day for the baby cheetahs and they're fighting each prod and pinch.
Metro Richmond Zoo Director Jim Andelin has a few battle scars from the checkup but he sees every scratch and combative cry as a good sign.
"It's worth whatever we need to do to make sure they get the proper vaccines to keep from having any problems down the road," he says. "They're wild animals and they're going to get tougher and tougher."
Four-year-old mom Lana gave birth to the zoo's first ever litter of cheetahs on October 6.
The three boys and two girls are growing each week and they'll put on even more weight, now that they eat meat twice a day.
"The cubs are just now starting to get it in their mouth, spitting it out and eating and in the past few days they've started eating quite a bit," Andelin says.
The five cubs are nearly identical - so vets shaved small spots on their legs to help tell them apart.
The zoo learns from these babies each day and hopes they're just the beginning of a successful cheetah breeding program in a community that's welcoming it with open arms.
"There's definitely a cheetah mania going on in Richmond," Andelin says. "We're definitely going to try to get them on exhibit, but it's going to be a couple months before we do."
Andelin says the zoo decided to webcast this checkup because it's gotten inquiries from just about every country around the world. If you want to check in with the cubs, click here: http://www.metrorichmondzoo.com/cheetahcam.shtml
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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