Author Archives: Tanner

  • -

White Lion Cubs Now On Exhibit

The Metro Richmond Zoo is excited to announce our 3 White lion cubs are now on exhibit! Xonga gave birth to 3 cubs on April 2nd, 2018 after a 110 day gestation period. There are 2 females and 1 male. The cubs initially spent two months inside their private den with Xonga. This allowed time for the cubs to learn to walk, play with one another, gain their strength, and mom and babies to bond. Now that they are old enough, Xonga and her cubs have been introduced to their outside habitat.

The cubs have begun to eat meat, but continue to nurse from mom. Lion cubs are not fully weaned until the age of 6 months. At 3-4 years, White lions reach maturity. Males begin to develop fuzz around their neck at one year which will grow into their characteristic mane.

White lions are a rare color mutation of the African lion that occurs naturally in the Timbavati region in South Africa. They are not albino; they are leucistic, which is a lack of dark pigmentation. They get their coloring from a recessive gene known as a color inhibitor. While similar to albinism, this gene is far less severe. White lions still have pigmentation present in their eyes, paws, and lips. White lions can range in color from pale blonde to completely white.

Until the cubs are introduced to their father, Basa, they currently rotate on exhibit. Xonga and her cubs are usually outside in the morning each day.

  • -

Bactrian Camel Born

Meet Dublin, a male Bactrian camel calf! He is the newest resident of the Zoo’s barnyard. Dublin was born on March 7. Shortly after birth, his mother showed signs of aggression towards him. In order to ensure his survival, zoo staff elected to hand raise him.

No automatic alt text available.

Make sure to meet Dublin on your next zoo visit!

Image may contain: 1 person, child and outdoor

  • -

Baird’s tapir born December 25th, 2017

The Metro Richmond Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Baird’s tapir. Navi was born on December 25th, 2017 to parents, Tupelo and Chac. Mom and baby are in great health.

This is the first Baird’s tapir birth for the MRZ. Tupelo and Chac were recommended to breed by the AZA SSP for Baird’s tapirs. Tupelo and her calf are currently inside their indoor shelter until the warmer weather arrives. This allows for Tupelo and Navi to stay warm and spend time forming a strong bond.

The Baird’s tapir is an endangered species native to Central America. The tapir’s nose and upper lip combine into a prehensile snout that can move in all directions. The tapir’s gestation is around 400 days.

In recent years, the majority of calves born in zoos have been male. The arrival of Navi will be a great addition to the captive tapir population.



  • -

Serval Kittens Born – July 16th

The Metro Richmond Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three servals. After a 74 day gestation period, Zola, a 3 year old female serval, gave birth to three kittens on July 16th. There is one male and two females. The father is Zemba. Zola and her three kittens are all doing well and are on exhibit now.



Watch a video here:

  • -

Two Dromedary Camel Calves Born

The Metro Richmond Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of  two Dromedary camels. On May 12th, Kya, a 7 year old camel, gave birth to a healthy female calf. The baby is nursing from mom, and they are bonding well. Both Kya and baby are on exhibit everyday.

On June 27th, a second Dromedary camel was born at the Zoo to parents, Mindy and Walter. He is doing great, and getting along with the rest of the herd.

Our camel calves are only one month apart and are the best of friends. 


Watch a video here:


Otter Cove Now Open!

Kumbali and Kago

Become a Member and Visit Year-Round!