5 more Cheetah Cubs Born!
On September 19, 2014 Milani gives birth to 5 cubs!
(a 24hr Cheetah Cam is expected to be accessible soon)
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, thus adding 10 genetically valuable cubs to the captive population.
Zoo staff will determine the sexes of the cubs during the cubs' first veterinary check-up which will be in the next few days.
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)