3 Feb 2012

Photo courtesy of Phil Noble – Reuters

Cheetah cub Juba underwent surgery at the zoo’s animal health centre this afternoon (Friday 3 Feb) to mend a fracture in his right ankle.

The hour-long operation which was carried out by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rob Pettitt from the University of Liverpool, together with the zoo’s own vets and nurses, will help the cub’s mobility in the long term.

The decision to operate followed an x-ray and examination days before.

Photo courtesy of Peter Byrne – Press Association

Juba was born at the zoo early last summer to mum KT. His sibling Rufaa remains unaffected.

Chester Zoo vet Steve Unwin said: “We believe the fracture has been caused by a weakness in Juba’s leg, which has been aggravated by the rough and tumble antics of young cubs.

“Cats are adept at hiding any discomfort but we are fortunate that we are able to keep a very close eye on our animals and so quickly picked up that something wasn’t quite right.

“Juba has been a model patient and we are pleased that, at this point in time, the operation seems to have gone well.

“Although Juba will need some rest off-show for the next few weeks, we are hopeful he will be back up on his paws again in no time.”

The operation saw surgeon Rob plate part of the ankle to stabilise the fracture and allow it to heal.

Juba’s post-operative wounds are small and he has been returned to the cheetah den along with the rest of his family.


– Read an amazing blog post and see more pictures from Phil Noble at Reuters, who covered Juba’s operation on Friday. Read his story here.

Photos of the operation courtesy of Peter Byrne – Press Association