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Dallas Zoo Cheetah Cub Dies Of Pneumonia

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(credit: Dallas Zoo)

(credit: Dallas Zoo)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A six-month-old cheetah cub has died at the Dallas Zoo.

Zoo officials have confirmed that the cub named Kamau (ka-MOWH) died from a severe respiratory illness Tuesday evening.

Kamau and his brother, Winspear, were born July 8 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia. A team of experts spent nearly two weeks with the baby cheetahs before bringing them to Dallas.

(credit: Dallas Zoo)

(credit: Dallas Zoo)

Both the cubs became ill a week ago and were treated at the zoo’s hospital. Kamau was the smaller of the two cubs and his condition worsened quickly on Tuesday. Even with medical intervention and resuscitation the cheetah died of pneumonia.

“Unfortunately, these types of illnesses can worsen very quickly in both animals and people,” explained Lynn Kramer, D.V.M., vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo.

Both of the cheetahs appeared live on CBS 11 News at 11 in October of 2013. Check them out in the video below.

Both Winspear and Kamau were vaccinated against both canine and feline distemper and other respiratory illnesses.

While still sick, Winspear is recovering and stable.

“The cubs had a very close bond,” Kramer said. “Kamau loved to play, and he was particularly fond of pouncing on top of his brother.”

Both cheetah cubs resided in the Wild Encounters area, where zoo officials hope to build a special cheetah run next year. The area would allow visitors to see full-grown cats run at a top speed of about 70 mph.

The Dallas Zoo is encourages guests to post photos of Kamau and Winspear or leave messages of support on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Zoo officials are also suggesting that anyone wanting to make donation in Kamau’s memory, send support to Dr. Marker’s Cheetah Conservation Fund.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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