Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's endangered Clouded Leopard, Chai Li, gave birth to two healthy cubs yesterday, one female (photo) and one male. It is Chai Li and Nah Fun's second litter and mom and cubs are doing well. Learn more about the birth at the zoos web page about the cubs and stay tuned for more photo and video updates!
The breeding of clouded leopards has been a challenge, primarily due to male aggression, decreased mating activity between paired animals and high cub mortality. In 2002, the National Zoo, in collaboration with the Nashville Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan and the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand created the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium—the largest population of confiscated clouded leopards in Southeast Asia. The Clouded Leopard SSP oversees clouded leopard populations in zoos worldwide and makes breeding recommendations for potential pairs based on the genetics of each cat. Since the cubs born in the Thailand breeding program are only one or two generations removed from the wild, their genes are especially valuable.