Cheetah cub at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands

All photos: Piroschka van de Wouw/AFP/Getty Images

One of the six cheetah cubs born at Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, is held up by staff as the big cat family makes its public debut on July 4.

The sextuplets, born on May 24, are quite rare. Typically, a cheetah only gives birth to two to four cubs per litter. A litter of six energetic cubs may sound like a lot, but some cheetah mothers have been known to give birth to nine cubs in a single gestation period.

The cubs will become independent from their mother after a year or two, and life expectancy hovers around 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

Cheetah cubs and mom at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands
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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.