Cheetah Cub Baby Boom at Smithsonian

The animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia must be seeing spots! Two large cheetah litters were born in one week in March. Happy, 3, had five healthy cubs on March 23, while Miti, 7, gave birth to seven cubs on March 28. Sadly, two of them were very small and less active, and didn’t survive. But luckily, the 10 surviving cubs are doing well and being raised by their attentive moms. Each of the litters of five includes two boys and three girls. “The average litter size is three, so this time we’ve got an incredible pile of cubs,” said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist and manager of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan. “In just one week, we increased the number of cheetahs at SCBI by 50 percent.” The Virginia facility is affiliated with the National Zoo in Washington. — Read it at the National Zoo


Mexico to Put Rare Porpoises in Refuge

In a controversial new “emergency plan” to save the vaquita marina porpoise from extinction, Mexico’s government announced plans to put some of the animals in a temporary refuge. But conservationists warn the world’s smallest porpoise species isn’t an animal that can thrive in captivity. There are only 30 vaquitas remaining, and they face extinction by 2022. The porpoises are threatened by illegal fishing in the Gulf of California. They get caught up in nets that are meant to catch the totoaba, which is an endangered fish. — Read it from AFP via Yahoo


Best Friends Opens New York Adoption Center

Known for its animal sanctuary in Utah, Best Friends Animal Society is spreading the love. On Tuesday, they opened an adoption center in New York City. The New York space has room for about 30 dogs and cats, and includes a state-of-the-art kitten nursery. They’re hoping the center will help educate animal lovers, and will be another step toward their goal of making all U.S. animal shelters no-kill shelters by 2025. Best Friends also has an adoption center in Los Angeles.