Pittsburgh Zoo’s new cheetahs “genetically valuable”

From South Africa to Pittsburgh — four cheetahs are now living at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

The animals are considered “genetically valuable” according to Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, the zoo’s director of animal health. The goal of acquiring such animals is to ensure that future populations of the endangered cats can continue to be diverse.

“So mating unrelated animals with unrelated animals,” Sturgeon said. “By bringing in new blood lines from South Africa, these are completely unrelated animals, so it will only allow us to further the genetic diversity of the cheetah population here in North America. That’s extremely critical for the success of this species here in our country.”

Read the full, original story: Not Just Cute: How the Pittsburgh Zoo’s New Cheetahs Play an Important Role

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