CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Metro Richmond Zoo announced Thursday the birth of four cheetah cubs to parents, Khari and Hatari.
Khari gave birth to two females and two males on July 20. This is Khari’s second litter, Hatari’s fourth, and the Zoo’s eighth litter of cheetah cubs. These are the 37th, 38th, 39th, and 40th cheetah cubs born at the Metro Richmond Zoo since 2013.
All four cubs are doing well and are in great health. The cubs were born in the zoo’s off-exhibit Cheetah Breeding Center, but have just been moved to the cheetah exhibit in the Zoo. These are the youngest cheetah cubs the zoo has ever had on exhibit.
The cheetah is Africa’s most endangered cat. In 1900, the cheetah population was around 100,000 individuals. However, due to habitat loss, human conflict, and illegal animal trade, the cheetah’s current wild population is in drastic decline. It is estimated there are around 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild. Cheetahs in the wild have an extremely high mortality rate. 90% of cubs die within the first three months of life. 50% of these deaths are attributed to predation and the other 40% fall victim to a lack of genetic diversity. Khari’s litter will make a significant addition to the captive cheetah population.
Click here to learn more about the Metro Richmond Zoo’s cheetah breeding program.