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Cheetah cub dies at Metro Richmond Zoo days after check-up

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A  cheetah cub born earlier this month at the Metro Richmond Zoo has died just days after a four-week checkup.

Two litters of cheetah cubs were born earlier this month at the Metro Richmond Zoo. The zoo grabbed international headlines in October 2013 when its first litter of five endangered cheetah cubs were born in captivity.

The zoo shared the sad news on its Facebook page Sunday.

"We are sad to announce that one of Lana's cubs passed away this morning. This was a complete shock to us because the cubs had their 4 week check-up 3 days ago. All cubs had gained significant weight and were in great body condition. The cubs were observed to nurse and be active through the night and into this morning. Later in the morning, a keeper noticed that one cub appeared to be isolated and not as active. She was removed and given fluids and antibiotics. Her temperature and blood sugar were normal but she died within the hour," the zoo posted on Facebook. "The vet will perform a necropsy on Monday to try to determine the cause of death. Samples will be sent out and will take a few days to receive results. Due to this delay, our vet decided to start the remaining 5 cubs on a course of antibiotics, beginning today, as a precaution. The vet will also draw blood on the 5 cubs Monday to be analyzed for any hidden problems."

The other litter was born when Khari gave birth to four cubs sired by Hatari on May 12. One of the female cubs died a few hours after she was born. Officials said those three cubs, including the one being bottle feed, are continuing to do well.

Zoo director Jim Andelin previously called the 20 cubs born in four litters at the Metro Richmond Zoo in the last 18 months a "very significant addition to the captive cheetah population."

The zoo reintroduced its Cheetah Cam following the most recent cheetah cub births.

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