Posted In Animals, Visitors | 6th June 2024

Big Cat, Spotted! Dublin Zoo welcomes first cheetah arrival since 2004

Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of female Northeast African cheetah Callie. The five-year-old arrived just last week from Fota Wildlife Park, who manage the European breeding program for the species.

There was great excitement at the arrival of Callie, the first cheetah at Dublin Zoo since 2004. Callie has been settling in very well during her first week, and visitors can expect to see her active nature as she explores her new home in the African Plains.

The habitat for Northeast African cheetahs at Dublin Zoo will positively contribute to the management of the species in Ireland, as movement between both Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park is expected to happen in the future. Moving potential partners between parks is important as it increases the chances of breeding success for the species. Dublin Zoo are awaiting the addition of a male cheetah later this year, who will be paired with Callie.

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on the planet, with a top speed of over 100km/hr. They rely on stealth to stalk their prey, however, before utilising their awesome speed to finish the hunt. Cheetah fur is covered in black spots, which helps camouflage the animal from its prey.

There are less than 600 Northeast African cheetahs left in the wild due to threats like habitat loss and the overhunting of prey by humans, and the species is categorised as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Helen Clarke, team leader at Dublin Zoo said:

“As an organisation committed to conservation, Dublin Zoo participates in the European breeding program for Northeast African Cheetahs, which is managed by Fota Wildlife Park. This has led to the arrival of Callie just a few days ago, our first cheetah in 20 years, so it is an exciting time for the team. She has already settled really well into her surroundings. We look forward to seeing the great excitement on visitor’s face when they see such a wonderful big cat up close.”

You can book tickets now to visit Callie in the African Plains at Dublin Zoo!