CINCINNATI, OH (WMC) - Five cheetah cubs were delivered via C-section at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
C-section is a rare surgery on cheetah's, and this has caused the kittens to have a compromised immune system.
Doctors are the zoo said it is only the third C-section in 25 years, but it had to be done to protect the mother and her cubs.
The cubs are now receiving around-the-clock care at the zoo.
"Mom is recovering, and we're working hard to put some weight on the premature cubs," Dr. Campbell, Director of Animal Health at the Cincinnati Zoo, said. "Important benchmarks for survival of these cubs are the first week and month of life."
The Cincinnati Zoo is called the Cheetah Capital of the World because of its conservation efforts and breeding program. The zoo has bred 54 cheetahs since opening in 2002.
Cheetahs are an endangered species. Their worldwide population is estimated at somewhere between 9,000 and 12,000, according to the Cincinnati Zoo.