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Cheetah Twins Arrive at Denver Zoo

Cheetah twins arrive at the Denver Zoo in July, 2012
Cheetah twins Marvin and Mojo recently arrived at the Denver Zoo and can be seen by the public. (Image credit: Denver Zoo)

Cheetah twins have arrived at the Denver Zoo and can now be seen by the public.

The brothers were born in October 2010, at the Wilds, a wildlife conservation center near Zanesville, Ohio. They were moved to the Denver Zoo because the nearly full-grown animals needed more space, according to a release from the zoo.

The two young cheetahs are named Marvin and Mojo, and replace the zoo's last cheetah, an eight-year-old male named Barafu, who was sent to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., to breed.

African cheetahs are found in the drier regions of sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest population found in Namibia. The fastest land mammals, the wild cats can sprint up to 70 mph (110 kph) over short distances and use their long tails like a rudder to help navigate at high speeds.

African cheetahs are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Experts believe there are only about 10,000 left in the wild. Their numbers are rapidly declining due to habitat destruction or conversion to farmland as well as illegal poaching for their beautiful fur.

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Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.