Smithsonian's National Zoological Park/ Friends of the National Zoo
cheetah cub at ten weeks old


Adopt a cheetah, hippo, lion, or another African animal.

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Visit the Smithsonian's African Art Museum.

Meet the Zoo's Cheetahs

Two female and four male adult cheetahs live at the National Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station. Three of the males arrived at the Zoo in April. The Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan for cheetahs, which is part of a program to save endangered species.

We can tell our cheetahs apart by looking at the stripes on their tails. Every cheetah's tail is unique, like people's fingerprints. Even the two sides of a cheetah's tail are different. link toCheetah Fact Sheet

The cheetahs are rotated through the yards of the Cheetah Conservation Station.

TumaiTumai was born at the Phoenix Zoo in 2000. Her name is Swahili for "hope." She arrived at the Zoo in May 2004.

Giving hope to many, Tumai gave birth to a litter of four cubs—two males and two females—on November 23, 2004. This was the Zoo's first ever litter of cheetahs.

She weighs about 98 pounds.

ZaziZazi, Swahili for "fertile" or "fruitful," was born at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas in 2001. She came to the Zoo in June 2004.

Living up to her name, Zazi became a mother of five cubs—three females and two males—on April 14, 2005.

She weighs about 109 pounds.

UmeUme, the Zoo's older male cheetah, arrived in March 2004. He was born in Florida in 1998. He is the father of the five cubs born in April 2005.

His name comes from the Swahili word for "lightning." He weighs about 93 pounds.

cheetahDraco, Granger, and Zabini, three brothers born in 2005, came to the Zoo in April 2007 from White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida.

Their names come from characters in the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K. Rowling.

They weigh 104 to 110 pounds each.


Two litters of cheetahs were born at the Zoo in recent years: Four cheetahs—two males and two females—born on November 23, 2004, and five cheetahs—three girls and two boys—born on April 1, 2005. All of these cheetahs have left for other zoos.

cheetah cubs in December 2004The litter born in 2004 marked the the first cheetah births in the Zoo's history.

As part of the Cheetah Species Survival Plan, the males have gone to the Milwaukee County Zoo, and the females have gone to New Jersey's Cape May Zoo.

See the cubs' link tophoto gallery.

Zazi and her five cubs

The female cubs from the second litter left the Zoo in September 2006 for Disney's Animal Kingdom. The males went to Lowry Park Zoo in March 2007.

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