Rare C-Section Cheetah Cub Gets a Helping Hand

05/24/2012 at 04:35 PM EDT

Rare C-Section Cheetah Cub Gets a Helping Hand
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
She had a bumpy beginning, but this 1-month-old female cheetah cub has been getting help from her human friends.

The young cheetah's mother, 5-year-old Ally, was giving birth in April when she abandoned the first cub she delivered. Veterinarians at Virginia's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute decided to perform an emergency Cesarian section – a procedure rarely performed on cheetahs – in order to save the other three cubs and the mother.

Ally made it, but only one of the three other cubs lived. Since then, the two surviving cheetahs have been in the care of the staff at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo.

Rare C-Section Cheetah Cub Gets a Helping Hand| Baby Animals, Zoo Animals

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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