It’s a first for the Saint Louis Zoo, eight times over.

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Bingwa, a female cheetah, has given birth to eight cubs, the zoo has announced.

The average litter size for a cheetah is three to five cubs, according to the zoo.

The cubs, three males and five females, were born in late November at the Saint Louis Zoo River’s Edge Cheetah Breeding Center. For the next few months, mama and her adorable cubs will remain in their private lair — all the better to bond.

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The delivery is a big deal. According to the zoo, in 430 litters documented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), this is the first time a female cheetah has produced and reared on her own a litter of eight cubs at a zoo.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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