I’ve been remiss finding animal cams this year, but reader Christian called my attention to a good one from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The cam, which you can see livestreamed here, shows a cheetah mom and her five cubs, born at the Metro Richmond Zoo October 6. (The cam operates 24/7.)
They’re only five weeks old, and adorable:
An article in the paper today describes the situation:
Lions and tigers, male and female, will hang out together and breed. Cheetahs are different. If a male and female are together all the time, the thrill is gone. For the female, “it’s like living with their brother,” Meeks said.
In a section of the Richmond zoo closed to the public, Andelin got the feline vibe going through an elaborate process that involved putting two males in an enclosure, where they left their scents, then removing them and putting Lana in that enclosure.
That seemed to excite her. When she saw the males through a fence, she seemed even more interested. Finally, one of the males, Kitu, was allowed to spend time with Lana, and the result three months later was the five cubs.
The cubs, which weighed less than a pound at birth, are now about 4 pounds each, roughly half the size of a house cat.
[Zoo director]Andelin hopes to put the youngsters on public display eventually, but that’s not guaranteed. They would have to be moved to a different enclosure, which can be stressful for the animals.
Andelin said he plans to keep the Cheetah Cam running for several months — “as long as we continue to get good footage and there is interest.” Cheetahs mature in about two years.