Gazelle Born at the Zoo

baby dama gazelleThe Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female dama gazelle calf November 2. The calf weighed ten pounds at birth and doubled in weight in just a few weeks. With this birth, the Zoo is now home to four dama gazelles. Five live at the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia.

About 24 hours after birth, the calf had an exam, which confirmed its sex as well as signs of nursing.The calf is healthy, very active, and thriving in her new environment. She and her mother are bonding and doing well. Before the weather got cold, she was going into her exhibit for a few hours each day, and getting acclimated to it and the Zoo's small herd of dama gazelles.

This birth is very significant for this critically endangered species. It is estimated that fewer than 500 dama gazelles remain in the wild and are under constant threat due to hunting and poaching. Read more.

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Spotting cheetahs: Three male cheetahs and one female cheetah live at the Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station. Cheetahs are the world's fastest land mammal, able to run as fast as 60 miles per hour.
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Cheetah News

New Cheetah at the Zoo

Amani, female cheetah at the ZooAmani, a two-year-old female cheetah, recently went on exhibit at the National Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station. She came to the Zoo from an Oregon animal park in late December, but had been kept off exhibit until she became accustomed to her new surroundings. Visitors can now see Amani daily at the Cheetah Conservation Station.

Animal-care staff hope that she will breed with one of the Zoo's three cheetah brothers in the future. It will be up to Amani to choose which of the cheetahs, if any, she wants to breed with—the same type of breeding behavior that a female cheetah in the wild would display. click to Learn about cheetahs.

New Cheetah Science Facility Opens

In October 2007, the Zoo opened the new Cheetah Science Facility at our Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia. It is the first new research facility to be constructed on the property in 22 years.

This nine-acre Cheetah Science Facility will be the center of the Zoo’s international cheetah research program in which scientists study cheetah biology to ensure good health, reproduction, and self-sustaining populations in zoos and in the wild. more

Want to make a difference? Help support the Zoo's cheetah conservation program.

Cheetah Chat

Tune into the Zoo's podcast, Cheetah Chat, to learn about cheetah spots and speed, and the history and future of the Zoo's cheetah conservation efforts.

Visiting the Cheetahs

The Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station is home to three young male cheetah brothers and a two-year-old female cheetah. These brothers are on exhibit together, and the female is on exhibit in another yard. On good-weather days, you may see a cheetah chasing a lure around the yard closest to Olmsted Walk. click to Meet the cheetahs.

Animal Enigma
This striped carnivore lives in many regions of Africa and is now on exhibit at the Small Mammal House. What is it?

African Savanna
The East African savanna, a dry tropical grassland, is home to a rich array of spectacular animals. Predators like lions and cheetahs prey on grazing and browsing animals like zebras, gazelles, and sometimes young giraffes. Stately birds like kori bustards stalk smaller prey while rarely seen naked mole-rats inhabit burrows on the savanna; huge hippos stay cool in rivers and lakes.

You can see these species and more without traveling to Africa. Just come to the Zoo or watch our web cams. African species at the Zoo

Tall and Small at the Elephant House
Come to the Elephant House to see some African animals—a Nile hippo and two pygmy hippos—plus capybaras from South America and three Asian elephants.

Spots and Stripes at the Cheetah Conservation Station
The Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station is home to Grevy's zebras, scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelles, cheetahs, and other animals.

Grasslands in Africa and Beyond
scimitar-horned oryxAfrica's Sahel grassland, home to endangered scimitar-horned oryx and many other rare species, merges into the Sahara desert to the north and the savanna to the south. Mostly dry grasslands also cover southern Africa, home to cheetahs, Cape buffalo, black rhinos, and kori bustards also found in East Africa. Zoo scientists are working in all of these areas to help conserve the incredible biodiversity of Africa's grasslands.

Moist tropical forests blanket parts of central and West Africa, home to great apes, including western lowland gorillas, which you can see at the Zoo.

black-footed ferretNorth America's grasslands were once home to abundant black-footed ferrets, bison, and prairie dogs. On South America's plains, seriemas and maned wolves stalk prey. Parts of Asia, such as Mongolia, home of Bactrian camels, Mongolian gazelles, and Prezwalski's horses, are covered with grasslands.

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