Three cheetah cubs born at an Australian zoo ventured out of their den and into their habitat for the first time this week, the park said.
The cubs at Monarto Safari Park have lived under the watchful eye of Mom and zoo staffers since they were born in early March.
One of the cubs has a special story of survival.
She was born on March 5 as a "singleton," which means she was an only cub. When particular big cat species like cheetah give birth to a single cub, they can’t produce enough milk to sustain their newborn, according to the park.
So, that’s where the love and help of family comes in.
While the zoo staff waited for the cub’s aunt to also give birth, they nurtured her with round-the-clock human care as best as they could.
Her aunt gave birth to two cub cousins one week later – and the experiment began.
Zoo staff methodically introduced the singleton to her family, and within 24 hours Mom was feeding all three cubs.
The experiment was a success and a first for the zoo.
Now, three months later, all three cubs are growing strong and ready to explore their new habitat.
"The girls were more confident than their brother, leading the way and exploring all the different areas of their habitat," Assistant Curator of Carnivores Jon Allon said.
"It was really exciting to see them out and about as a family, particularly the cross-fostered girl – she is doing really well," he added.
In the last century, the world has lost 90% of the wild cheetah population and it is estimated only 6,000 remain across eastern and south-western Africa, according to Monarto Safari.
The park is located near Adelaide, Australia, which is about 450 miles northwest of Melbourne.
This story was reported from Detroit.