Five cheetah cubs born earlier this month after a rare C-section procedure were getting around-the-clock critical care at the Cincinnati Zoo's nursery, zoo officials said.

The zoo's director of animal health said it was only the third C-section he has been involved with and his first on a cheetah.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the three male and two female cubs were born March 8 at the zoo's cheetah breeding facility in Clermont County.

Just over 50 cheetah cubs have been born there since it opened in 2002.

Zoo officials said the cheetahs' immune systems are not developed very well and they're not able to actively fight off infections.

The cubs will stay in the nursery for at least eight weeks.