Wednesday 13 December 2017

It's cheetah meets Lion as cub named after rugby ace ROG

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A RARE cheetah recently born at Cork's Fota Wildlife Park has been named after local rugby legend Ronan O'Gara.

The former Munster, Ireland and Lions rugby star, from Douglas, Co Cork, was the most popular choice in the park's campaign to find a name for the six-week-old male northern cheetah cub, which made history as the first of its species to be born on Irish soil.

Over the past week alone, more than 8,000 people responded to the online competition to name the cub and the acronym "ROG" was the most popular choice, followed by "Charlie", "Bold Lightning" and "Simba".

"The response was phenomenal, the biggest we've ever had for naming an animal. In the end, we decided to honour someone locally in Ronan, who has also been a member of the park with his wife, Jessica, for the last couple of years," said the park's marketing manager Stephen Ryan.

Alan Cogan, from Cork, who was the first person to suggest the winning name on Twitter, said: "It just has to be ROG, a born survivor."

ROG, the cheetah, who turned six weeks old yesterday, is thriving.

He is being hand-reared by park staff after his mother was unable to feed him.

He is the 179th cheetah to be born at the park but is the first of the highly endangered northern cheetah species, a native of Africa, to be born here.

Irish Independent

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