Published: 14:45, 07 January 2022
| Updated: 15:49, 07 January 2022
A cheetah raised at Howletts is now the proud parent of four wild-born cubs.
Nairo, who was born at Port Lympne shortly before moving to its sister park, was relocated to South Africa two years ago as part of a rewilding project fronted by the Aspinall Foundation.
The big cat's brother, Saba, sadly died at the end of last year after being pierced through the heart by the horn of what is thought to have been an antelope.
But the devastation of Saba's untimely death has now been followed by the joyful announcement of Nairo's newborns.
The four-year-old is a father to four cubs after he became a mate to fellow captive-born cheetah, Ava.
Nairo's journey in the South African sanctuary of Mount Camdeboo has pleased the Aspinal Foundation, which says the births "emphatically prove" that work to recover the species' dwindling population is bearing fruit.
The quartet of cubs were born on November 12 and have been doing "very well" since.
A statement on the Foundation's Facebook page reads: "The project has emphatically proved that two captive-born cheetahs can breed successfully in the wild and increase much-needed genetic diversity in wild populations."