Jao Chu (JOW-chew), a 3-year-old endangered clouded leopard at the Smithsonian National Zoo, gave birth to a cub at 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Staff had been on a pregnancy watch for several days. Mother and cub are doing well. The cub’s sex will not be confirmed for about one week.
Tiny head... not so tiny claws!
The birth represents the second time Jao Chu and 3-year-old Hannibal have produced offspring. Jao Chu gave birth to two male cubs March 24—Sa Ming (SAH-meeng), “brave warrior,” and Ta Moon (TAH-moon), “mischievous child.” Lots more photos after the jump.
As with the first litter, the newest cub also will be hand-reared by experienced Zoo staff to help with socialization and to reduce the risk of infant mortality. This genetically valuable cub will increase the gene diversity of the North American Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan.
Photo Credit: Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian's National Zoo