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Cheetah cubs break records

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Cheetah cubs break records

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Saint Louis Zoo
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A cheetah has given birth to eight cheetah cubs - the largest litter ever delivered at the Saint Louis Zoo in the US state of Missouri.

The three males and five females arrived at the River's Edge Cheetah Breeding Center in late November.

They were born to mother Bingwa, whose name means "champion" in Swahili.

The average litter size for cheetahs is three to four cubs.

Cheetahs were historically native throughout Africa and Asia but in the last five decades the big cats have become extinct in at least 13 countries. There are now fewer than 10,000 cheetahs across Africa and fewer than 100 in Iran.

The Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation of Carnivores in Africa works with partners in Tanzania and Namibia to help protect cheetahs in the wild.

The animals are often persecuted for killing livestock and conservation efforts focus on ways to provide local herders with education opportunities, food and medical supplies, to allow them to co-exist with cheetahs and help protect them.