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Nearly a dozen cheetah cubs born at Metro Richmond Zoo since April

Metro Richmond Zoo Valias Cheetahs.jpeg
Metro Richmond Zoo Valias Cheetahs 3.jpeg
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Posted at 7:59 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 07:59:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Cheetahs have been busy at the Metro Richmond Zoo!

The Zoo announced the birth of three cheetah litters since April.

On April 10, Rey and Kalu gave birth to four cubs. It was Rey’s second litter.

Then, on April 26, Vaila gave birth to four cubs sired by Duma. It was Vaila’s third litter.

Unfortunately, the Zoo said one of Vaila's cubs died shortly after birth due to a cleft palate birth defect, but the remaining three cubs are healthy.

The newest cubs were welcomed on Aug. 21. Those three babies belong to Khari and Duma. It's Khari’s fourth litter.

The Zoo said all seven cubs born in April have had several vet checkups, been dewormed and received their essential vaccinations.

The cubs are in great health and growing rapidly, and all three moms are experienced, caring and attentive, according to the Zoo.

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. They currently care for 36 cheetahs.

Since 2013, 77 cheetahs have been born at the zoo in the conservation center, according to the Zoo.

Vaila and her cubs were moved last week to the cheetah habitat in the zoo for guests to see.

The Zoo said the wild population of cheetahs has decreased 93% in the last 120 years, making it Africa’s most endangered big cat.

According to the Zoo, they have become a leader in the global zoo community for cheetah conservation, and many of their cheetahs have a high genetic value since they are unrelated to most of the cheetahs in the United States.