The Metro Richmond Zoo is proud to announce the births of three cheetah litters.
On April 10, 2021, Rey gave birth to four cubs (one male and three females) sired by Kalu. This is Rey’s second litter.
On April 26, 2021, Vaila gave birth to four cubs (one male and three females) sired by Duma. This is Vaila’s third litter. Unfortunately, one female cub died shortly after birth due to a cleft palate birth defect. The remaining three cubs are healthy.
On August 21, 2021, Khari gave birth to three cubs sired by Duma. This is Khari’s fourth litter. The cubs’ sexes will not be determined until they have their first vet checkup at one week old.
Rey with her cubs at 5 weeks old.
All seven cubs born in April have had several vet checkups, been dewormed, and received their essential vaccinations. They are in great health and growing rapidly. All three moms are experienced, caring, and attentive.
The cubs were born at the zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Center, a private, specialized area dedicated solely to the protection of cheetahs. The center is on zoo grounds but not open for the public, and it contains 15 large habitats for cheetahs. Currently, the zoo cares for 36 cheetahs. Since 2013, 77 cheetahs have been born at the zoo in the conservation center.
Vaila and her cubs were moved last week to the cheetah habitat in the zoo for guests to see.
The cheetah’s wild population has decreased 93% in the last 120 years, making it Africa’s most endangered big cat. To protect the future of this species, a thriving population of cheetahs in zoological parks is necessary. The Metro Richmond Zoo has become a leader in the global zoo community for cheetah conservation. Many of the cheetahs at the zoo have high genetic value since they are unrelated to most of the cheetahs in the United States.
The Metro Richmond Zoo collaborates with the Zoological Association of America and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to make recommendations on where to place cheetahs for breeding purposes to strengthen the gene pool.
Learn more about the zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Center.