Cheetah cubs celebrate birthday at the Safari Park - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cheetah cubs celebrate birthday at the Safari Park

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four cheetah cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park turned a year old Monday and celebrated with cakes made out of ice, blood, chicken broth, ground meat, and chunked meat -- drizzled with more blood.

According to the zoo, the cubs were hesitant to try their birthday treats, since this was their first time seeing ice cake.

However, following their mother's lead, they soon gathered around to enjoy the birthday feast, animal keepers said. The cats licked the blood- and broth-flavored ice layers and ate every piece of the cake decor, which included the word "one" written in ground meat.

The cakes also were topped with a "candle" that was created from ground beef and frozen blood, sprinkled with chunks of meat.

Zoo officials said the cakes were given to the cheetahs as an enrichment item to keep the cats stimulated and active.

The cheetah cubs were born to first-time mother Addison on July 13, 2014, at the Safari Park's off-site cheetah breeding center. The family moved to the Safari Park's Okavango Outpost when the cubs were 4 months old.

The two male cubs, named Wgasa and Refu, and two females, Pumzika and Mahala, were all named after former areas of the Safari Park.

Cheetahs, which are found in Africa and a small part of Iran, are classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is estimated that the worldwide population of cheetahs has dropped from 100,000 in 1900 to 10,000 today, with about 10 percent living in zoos or wildlife parks.

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