A cheetah cub is winning hearts with her fighting spirit.
Nicknamed Xena highlight her battling qualities. The cub was discovered when 10 days old. She is weak after being abandoned by her mother.
The keepers have been hand-rearing Xena. They try to care bottle feeding her every four hours.
Her mother Wilma gave birth to cubs Winston in 2016. She has abandoned Xena.
The cub has doubled in weight. Since the keepers began hand rearing her. She would die without their intervention.
She will start to be weaned on to a meat diet. It is hoped she will be able to fend for herself.
Keeper Matt Cleverley, who previously hand-reared a cheetah while working in Africa, volunteered to look after the tiny cub along with his wife Kate, a fellow keeper.
Mr Cleverley said it was an ‘extremely difficult’ decision to step in, but it was necessary to give Xena the best chance of survival.
The cheetah is officially classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species which means it is likely to become ‘Endangered’ unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.
In 2008 the IUCN estimated there to be around 7,500-10,000 adult cheetahs in Africa and there are concerns the numbers have decreased significantly since then.