CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — The Metro Richmond Zoo recently welcomed 13 new cheetah cubs to their Chesterfield County zoo.
The zoo said the first three cubs were born on March 21, 2016 from Milani, a second time mom. She gave birth to three cubs, two males and one female, sired by Hatari.
Seven cubs, also sired by Hatari, were born to Vaila, a first time mom, on April 1. The zoo said seven cubs are rare and only happens 1% of the time. Two of the cubs did not survive, but the five remaning are doing well.
The next day, six more cubs were born. Wiay, a first time mom gave birth to six cubs sired by Kitu. One cub did not survive after birth. The cubs struggled to gain weight initially, but after medical attention, the five remaining cubs are doing well.
There were 16 cubs total born between March 21 and April 2, 12 cubs remain.
“Cheetah’s are endangered and the wild cheetah population is in a drastic decline with only 7,500 now left in the wild in small pocketed areas in Africa,” Metro Richmond Zoo owner Jim Andelin said in a written statement. “Breeding cheetahs in captivity is very challenging, with only a small portion of the population reproducing. The Metro Richmond Zoo has had tremendous success in breeding cheetahs. In the last 2 1/2 years we have had 36 cubs born from seven litters making a significant addition to the captive cheetah population.”
The widely popular 24-hour cheetah cam is back! This time the zoo has two cams available to watch both Milani and Vaila’s cubs. Click here to watch live.