Published: 18:48, 12 September 2021
| Updated: 18:59, 12 September 2021
Keepers have welcomed a new cheetah to Wingham Wildlife Park as part of a breeding programme.
Transferred from Colchester Zoo, the new arrival is named Colonel Tom in recognition of fundraising hero Sir Captain Tom Moore, who was made an honorary colonel for his efforts.
The majestic cat was only born last April, as one of four cubs.
Like Colonel Tom, the other siblings are likely to move to other zoos through breeding programmes.
As well as the new arrival, there were other celebrations last week as Wingham's female cheetah sisters, Asha and Kikay, turned nine years of age.
Colonel Tom's new enclosure is located next door to the sisters.
Wingham is Kent’s fastest growing wildlife park, with a host of new species being welcomed in recent years.
Cheetahs, which are the fastest land animal and reach speeds of 65mph, become sexually mature between 20 to 23 months of age, although some may mature within 18 months.
The beautiful big cats are classed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
There are calls for that status to be heightened to 'endangered' due to significant population declines in recent years.