Meet the newest members of the Monarto Zoo family

One of the new cheetah cubs at Monarto Zoo. Photo: Adrian Mann.

One of the new cheetah cubs at Monarto Zoo. Photo: Adrian Mann.

Monarto Zoo have debuted four three-month-old cubs and announced their names, determined by a public voting contest.

Mapenzi, Kuishi, Mara and Thumani have been welcomed as part of the Monarto Zoo family and after months of anticipation zoo carnivore keeper Gale Akerman said the cubs were ready for their debut.

“Everyone’s been waiting with bated breath to meet the little fur balls and we’re so excited that today’s the day,” Gale said.

“We are really pleased with how the cubs have grown under Kesho’s watchful eye, each one had its own individual personality which is quiet adorable.

“Now the’re out of the den, they’ll have an absolute ball playing together.”

The cubs with their mother Kesho. Photo: Adrian Mann.

The cubs with their mother Kesho. Photo: Adrian Mann.

The cubs had spent the first months of their lives in a private den with Kesho to allow a family bond to be created.

Some visitors earlier in the month had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the family in a behind the scenes cheetah experience.

“The cubs will play an important role in helping educate the public about the plight of their wild brothers and sisters,” Gale said.

“At the moment, Cheetah numbers in their native eastern and south-western Africa are scarily low, with only 6,700 estimated to be left in the wild.

“Habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as the killing of cheetah to protect livestock has seen almost half of the wild population disappear in the last 35 years.”