Three cheetah cubs at a Christchurch wildlife park have been put down after their conditions deteriorated rapidly.
Five cubs were rescued on Saturday from their mother, who had proved unable to care for them.
Two died soon after, and the remaining three have been in intensive care since Monday.
A spokesperson for Orana Wildlife Park said the big cats' condition had been up and down all week but a decision was made on Thursday morning to euthanise them.
Nathan Hawke said the park has high hopes of its four young female cheetahs produce more cubs in the future.