Cheetah Cubs Make Debut at National Zoo

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Two cheetah cubs are making their public debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. (credit: (Karen Adams / All-News 99.1)

Two cheetah cubs are making their public debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. (credit: (Karen Adams / All-News 99.1)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Two cheetah cubs are making their public debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington.

Zoo members were given the first opportunity Tuesday to see the three-month-old cubs in their public enclosure. Beginning Saturday, the general public will be able to view the cubs for one hour at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The zoo says it plans to name the cubs after the fastest American male and female athletes in the Olympics 100-meter dash.

PHOTOS: CHEETAH CUBS AT NATIONAL ZOO

Scientists say every surviving cub is critical to sustaining the species, which is threatened with extinction in the wild. These new cubs are genetically valuable because their mother and father were first-time parents.

The cubs were born in April. One was saved after veterinarians performed a “rare and risky” emergency cesarean section.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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