19 cheetahs born this year at Virginia zoo


This marks the greatest number of cubs born in a single year in the zoo’s history

Photo courtesy of Metro Richmond Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Metro Richmond Zoo.

The Metro Richmond Zoo has announced successful conservation for the cheetah as 19 cubs from 6 different litters were born at the zoo so far in 2022.

According to an organizational release,1 born in March, June, July, and August, the 19 cubs' moms include Khari, Naya, Vaila, Rey, Zola, and Wiay after a gestation period of approximately 93 days. The cheetahs were recommended for breeding by the Zoological Association of America’s animal management plan.

The cubs were born at the Cheetah Conservation Center, a private specialized area with 19 habitats exclusively for the protection of cheetahs. Though on zoo property, it’s not open for the public.

Naya and her 6 cubs, including 4 males and 2 females, who are almost 5 months old were moved to the cheetah habitat in the zoo for visitors to see. They are one of the few zoological associations with cheetah cubs on exhibit for a unique experience. The zoo staff closely monitors cheetah clubs as they develop and grow.

The cheetah population decreased 93% in the last 120 years, making it Africa’s most endangered big cat, according to the release.1 Currently, the cheetah inhabits only 9% of its historic range.


Cheetah boom: 19 cheetah cubs born in 2022. News release. Metro Richmond Zoo. August 18, 2022. Accessed August 19, 2022. https://www.metrorichmondzoo.com/cheetah-boom-19-cheetah-cubs-born-in-2022

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