Cheetah Cubs Growing Up Way Too Fast

Slow it down! We need them to stay in the tiny-and-fuzzy stage!

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A pair of cheetah cubs -- a male and a female -- were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., in Dec. 2010. But isn't there some way to just keep them teensy and fuzzy forever? No?
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The cubs weren't technically siblings -- they were born to two mothers, Amani and Zazi. But because cheetahs can't produce milk for a single cub, keepers placed both cubs together under Zazi's care. The technique of cross-fostering helped her produce enough milk for both cubs, and they're thriving.
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We're thrilled they're healthy, but seriously, cheetah cubs, you're getting way too big all of a sudden!
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You sullen teenager, you.
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According to the Conservation Institute: "Since March, head cheetah keeper Lacey Braun has been training the cubs to voluntarily enter a crate and step on a scale."
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"Keepers also target train animals through positive reinforcement; in other words, when the animal demonstrates the desired behavior asked for by the trainer, it is given a reward (with the cheetahs, the reward is usually food). Once the cubs learn to follow the target, this exercise will be useful for training more difficult behaviors," the Institute says.
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Teens need a lot of sleep, you know.
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So sullen! Listen, mister, you obey your curfew and that's that.
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Mom obviously is ready for a break.
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