This week in 2020: Now-famous cheetah cubs born
Three years ago, the Columbus Zoo and scientists celebrated the birth of the world's first — and only — cheetah cubs born through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Why it matters: IVF makes it possible for vulnerable species like cheetahs to reproduce when they can't naturally due to distance or health issues.
The intrigue: The biological breakthrough on Feb. 19, 2020, was timed perfectly. Just a few weeks later, the lab that made it possible temporarily shut down along with the rest of the world.
Flashback: Adrienne Crosier, a biologist from Virginia's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), implanted embryos into 3-year-old Columbus Zoo cheetah Izzy in November 2019.
- The embryos formed through sperm from a cheetah in Texas and eggs from an older Columbus cheetah, Kibibi, who can't get pregnant easily but has valuable genes.
What they're saying: It's still not exactly clear why Izzy's procedure worked while other attempts haven't, Crosier tells Axios — but we're glad Central Ohio can lay claim to this adorable accomplishment.
The latest: Now full-grown, cheetahs Adrienne (named for the biologist) and Dave (named after a late, renowned SCBI scientist) are doing well at the Columbus Zoo, a spokesperson says.
- They can be viewed in the Heart of Africa area during warm months.
More Columbus stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.