Pictured are just a few of the eight cheetah cubs that were born late last year at the Saint Louis Zoo. Today, they were unveiled to the public. Go ahead and say it, “Awww.” They are cute. This morning, I arrived at the zoo’s opening and made a beeline for the cheetah’s enclosure, where a small group of people were already waiting. After about half-an-hour, the cubs were released from their building. First, the mother (Bingwa) came out, followed shortly by one and then two of the cubs and then in a rush all eight came out. They ran around in the weeds, chasing each other and exploring until after about fifteen minutes they seemed to notice the watching crowd of humans. It was only then that I got the pictured partial group shots. Never were all eight of the cubs together, a normal litter is four cubs. I was lucky to get these shots, because soon they had gotten themselves muddy. Their Swahili names are Moja, Mbili, Tatu, Nne, Tano, Sita, Saba and Nane, which mean one through eight respectively. These eight cubs join an alumni of fifty cheetahs that have been born at the Saint Louis Zoo.
I swung by the zoo for a photo safari and to escape all of the MSD inspired noise, dust and diesel exhaust at home. There is a fair amount of construction going on at the zoo too. The old river otter pens have been removed in the gully between the seals and the big cats. This is the zoo’s main promenade and all of its historic buildings line it. I’m not sure what the zoo’s plans are for this land. It looks like they might be returning the space to something like park land. There are still some big beautiful cedars growing there. Historically, they had small enclosures located there, along with human-animal interaction activities, like elephant rides. I don’t think that the later will make a comeback and I’m not even sure that we need any more small cages.
The other big construction project is in the central ponds. In the warmer months, these ponds host flamingos, the one Florida bird species that we missed seeing. They are currently wintering up the hill in the old sea lion show arena. In the winter pelicans are available. On this visit, there was a big yellow CAT in the mud. It looked like it was dredging and was being serviced by another fleet of black smoke belching dump trucks. There is a gift shop that is scheduled for renewal as part of this project. A thought occurred to me. There are restrooms in that building. Could this be yet another part of the MSD global conspiracy?