Watch Live inside our Cheetah Breeding Facility!
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On Thursday evening, Milani began to show signs of early labor. Zoo staff kept a close eye on her through the night. Milani delivered the cubs Friday morning. The first cub was born at 4:26 a.m. and the fifth cub at 11:34 a.m.
The wild cheetah population is in drastic decline, experiencing a 30% drop in the last 18 years with only 7,500 now left in the wild. Breeding cheetahs in captivity is very challenging, and because of that, only a very small portion of the population is reproducing. This birth is very significant, as it is the 2nd cheetah birth in the last 11 months for the Metro Richmond Zoo. The Metro Richmond Zoo supports a Cheetah Conservation Project in Botswana Africa that helps protect cheetahs in the wild.
Watch Milani give birth to all 5 cubs!
There is a high mortality rate with cheetahs. In the wild, 90 % of cubs do not make it to adulthood. In captivity, 37% do not survive to adulthood, with most deaths occurring during the first month of life.
Watch as Milani bonds with her cubs (day 2)