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Posted at 11:37 AM ET, 11/26/2010

3 cheetahs return to the National Zoo

By Washington Post editors

3cheetahs.jpg

(Photo: Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian National Zoo)

Three male cheetahs are returning to their home at the National Zoo after spending time in Front Royal at the Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, officials announced Friday.

Draco, Granger and Zabini, who were born in 2005 and named after characters in the Harry Potter series, will go on display during Thanksgiving weekend. They join Tumai, a 10-year-old female cheetah currently on display.

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Males such as Draco, Granger and Zabini live together in groups called "coalitions."

By Washington Post editors  | November 26, 2010; 11:37 AM ET
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Comments

This story needs to be flushed out, imho. I'm assuming the cheetahs were being used in a breeding program, no? Perhaps part of the Species Survival Program in which zoological parks around the world are participants. I know one of the threats facing cheetahs is an unusually shallow genetic pool thanks to a population crash and subsequent genetic bottleneck, so I assume the males were being studied/utilized towards the end of breeding and increasing genetic diversity among captive specimens... but that's all my assumption. Would've been nice to get those details from the reporter and/or if the editor had allowed enough column inches to fill in the missing details.

Posted by: hogmeister | November 26, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I am looking forward to seeing them. Thanks for this news.

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Posted by: xixidada | November 26, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Good news. I was at the zoo last week and one cheetah was visible hanging out in one of the dens but it will be nice to have a few more to possibly see.

Posted by: marathoner | November 26, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

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