The Metro Richmond Zoo is excited to announce the birth of 2 more litters of cheetah cubs. Lana and Kitu, who sired our famous first litter of 5 cubs Amelia, Hanna, Richie, Chester and Rico, recently gave birth to six more cubs, 2 males and 4 females on April 29,2015. The birth of six cubs is a rare event that only happens 8% of the time in cheetah births. Lana is doing a great job caring for all six cubs as demonstrated by their rapid and healthy growth.
On May 12, 2015, Khari, a first time mom, gave birth to 4 cubs (2 males and 2 females), sired by Hatari, a first time dad. Unfortunately, one female only lived a few hours. We have been carefully watching and weighing the other 3 every day. One cub began to lose weight, so we pulled him, put him on antibiotics and are currently bottle feeding him every 2-3 hours. He has been doing very well and has steadily gained weight. We hope to reintroduce him back to his mom soon. Compared to Lana, Khari’s maternal skills have been slower to kick in. We are also concerned about her lack of milk production. We are monitoring the progress of each individual cub’s health.
The wild cheetah population is in a drastic decline with only 7,500 now left in the wild in small pocketed areas in Africa. Breeding cheetahs in captivity is very challenging, with only a small portion of the population reproducing. The 20 cubs born in four litters here at the Metro Richmond Zoo in the last year and a half is a very significant addition to the captive cheetah population.
Yes, we are going to do it again. The cheetah cam has been enjoyed by people from all over the world and is currently up and running!
Watch cubs Live
Twenty years ago, the Metro Richmond Zoo opened to the general public on April 22, 1995.
Here is a timeline of our growth in 20 years:
-1995: Zoo opens with 250 animals covering 30 acres of land.
-1996: Jack is the Zoo’s first white rhino. Levi and Zach, cheetah brothers, become the Zoo’s first meat-eaters.
-1997: Rajah, a white Bengal tiger cub, arrives. The Zoo opens the chimp and orangutan islands.
-1998: The original gift shop, office, and front entrance are built.
-1999: The first De Brazza’s monkey is born.
-2000: Lion exhibit opens. First Dromedary camel calf and Brazilian tapir calf are born.
-2001: First Reticulated giraffe calf is born at the Zoo. MRZ provides a unique experience to hand feed our herd of giraffes.
-2002: Flamingo exhibit opens.
-2003: The Safari Sky Ride is built. The Zoo expands with the opening of the North American Boardwalk featuring alligators, bison, and elk. A Christmas tradition begins as Miracle of Christmas, a live Christmas pageant, premiers in December.
-2004: The Zoo exhibits the Mishmi Takin, an endangered animal native to India and China. The walk-in bird aviary opens by the front entrance with exotic ducks, spoonbills, and ibis.
-2005: The Asiatic Black Bear enclosure opens.
-2006: A second giraffe barn is built to accommodate the growing herd. A second cafe opens by the Sky Ride. The Jungle Carousel is built.
-2007: African Clawless otters arrive.
-2008: The Safari Train Ride is built, expanding the Zoo’s size by 10 acres. The Budgie exhibit allows guests to feed birds.
-2009: The 7th chimpanzee is born. Hatari and Kitu, two male cheetahs, arrive at the Zoo.
-2010: The Zoo begins expansion on the front entrance, increasing the size of the gift shop and offices. The Pass Center is created.
-2011: The Zoo purchases 52 more acres of adjacent land. The Zoo launches massive efforts in support of cheetah conservation. Construction begins at the Cheetah Breeding Center. (More land still being developed in 2015.)
-2012: Farley and Zoe, our playful juvenile orangutans, go on exhibit. Five additional cheetahs arrive at the Cheetah Breeding Center.
-2013: The 100th African penguin chick hatches at the Zoo. Lana gives birth to five cheetah cubs, the first litter for the MRZ. The playground is installed with additional outdoor picnic tables.
-2014: Treetop Zoofari, Richmond’s first Zipline and Adventure Park, opens at the Metro Richmond Zoo in February.
-2015: A new Animal Hospital opens on site at the Zoo. MRZ employs over 60 workers, part-time and full-time. The Zoo is currently home to over 2000 animals, representing 180 species from around the globe. It’s situated on 120 acres.
Calling all reptile lovers! The new reptile building is coming soon! The exhibit will feature various species of both exotic and native lizards, turtles, snakes, frogs, and more. The exhibit will include over 30 displays and expand there-after. We’re not going to spoil the entire surprise, but here’s a sneak peak of what’s coming soon..
All the cubs were weighed, de-wormed, and re-shaved (for easier identification). Our vet checked their basic body condition, and they also had their paw prints stamped into clay. All are well