RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Cheetah conservation efforts at the Metro Richmond Zoo are booming! The zoo has announced that 19 cubs have been born so far in 2022, the greatest number of cubs born in a single year in the zoo’s more than 20-year history.

The 19 cubs were born in March, June, July, and August to cheetah moms Khari, Naya, Vaila, Rey, Zola, and Wiay. The cubs were born at the zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Center, a private specialized area not open to the public.

The zoo said six cubs and their mother have been moved to the public-facing cheetah habitat area for guests to see. Of the six cubs, four are males and two are females – all are five months old.

According to the Metro Richmond Zoo, the cheetah’s wild population has decreased 93% in the last 120 years, making it Africa’s most endangered big cat. The zoo said conservation efforts are necessary to protect the future of the species. From 2013-2022, 90 cheetahs have been born at the Metro Richmond Zoo.

The Metro Richmond Zoo is open year-round Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Metro Richmond Zoo online for more information.


  • Adult (age 12-59) – $21.95
  • Senior (age 60+) – $20.95
  • Child (age 2-11) – $15.95
  • Infant (age 23 mos. & under) – Free