07/30/2014 11:59 am ET

Watch This Beautiful King Cheetah Give Birth To Four Cubs

For most mothers, the birth of a child is a rare and incredible thing.

But for the king cheetah, it is even rarer. Not only are cheetahs a vulnerable species, but the "king" cheetah is one of the rarest types of cheetah in the world. Originally thought to be a distinct, hybrid species of leopards and cheetahs, we now know that king cheetahs simply have a peculiar fur pattern caused by a genetic mutation.

So when the news broke out of Hoedspruit, South Africa on Monday that the king cheetah mother Meg, who lives at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, just gave birth to four cubs, nature enthusiasts rejoiced.

In this video, the entire birth -- that lasted a few hours -- has been edited down to three beautiful and fascinating minutes. Watch as Meg welcomes four adorable cubs into the world, or tune in to the live Africam to see how they're doing at this very moment.


  • This is the heart-stopping moment a photographer came within inches of a young cheetah who stuck his head through her sun roof. Australian Bobby-Jo Clow, 31, was on safari in Tanzania when the juvenile cheetah started heading toward her vehicle with his sibling. She snapped away as the young male dangled his paws in front of her face and smelled her hair before his mother called him away into the wilds of the Serengeti National Park. But not until Bobby-Jo, a full-time elephant keeper at a Tanzanian Zoo, had leaned forward enough to capture the perfect shot, causing the cheetah to hiss and bare his teeth. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)
  • The cheetah approaches the windscreen. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)
  • The cheetah peers inside the car to see who is inside. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)
  • Bobby-Jo Clow with the Cheetah resting on the roof. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)
  • The cheetah on top of the safari vehicle. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)
  • The cheetah looks straight at the photographer while peering through the roof of the safari vehicle. (BOBBY-JO CLOW PHOTOGRAPHY/CATERS NEWS)