The King Cheetah In Zoo Negara Is One Of Only 30 In The World

A very rare species indeed.

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The King Cheetah In Zoo Negara Is One Of Only 30 In The World

Welcome to Malaysia, Bolt!

Over the years, Zoo Negara has come under the spotlight, sadly for all the wrong reasons.

From running out of funds for renovation works to being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), our national zoo is in dire need of some good news (and some good luck).

Thankfully, they have something in their enclosure that could very much turn out to be a goldmine for them.

Meet Bolt, one of the world's rarest cheetahs.
According to this report by The New Straits Times, Zoo Negara is apparently home to a rare species of cheetah known as the King Cheetah.

In fact, the species is so rare, there are only 30 of such cheetahs around the world.

The news portal reported that the South African cheetah, named Bolt after the world's fastest man Usain Bolt, was born in the zoo in July last year.

Bolt was the sole survivor; his siblings reportedly died not long after they were born.

Bolt and his handler.
As Bolt began to grow and mature, his handlers started noticing that the pattern on his fur is marked with dark, blotchy spots.

Bolt also sports wide and dark 'racing' stripes on his back, extending from his neck all the way to his tail.

The markings differ from that of a normal cheetah, which has clearly defined spots. 

These unusual marks are a result of a recessive genetic mutation caused by the lack of genetic diversity.

Cheetahs with these markings are known as a King Cheetah, and according to this website, the King Cheetah has only been spotted in the wild a total of six times, with the last confirmed sighting at the Kruger National Park back in 1986

Flickr/Steve Jurvetson
A Zoo Negara zookeeper told The New Straits Times that Bolt was conceived when his mother, Tianna, was still in South Africa.

At the time, the Zoo Negara staff did not know that Tianna was pregnant when she arrived in Malaysia, and the staff believed that Tianna mated with a King Cheetah prior to the exchange programme.

So, if you guys want to check out the rarest cheetah species ever with your own eyes, you know where to head to.

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