Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the births of two litters of Clouded Leopards. On Feb. 13, Lom Choy and her mate Luk welcomed two cubs, one male and one female. On March 11, Jing Jai and her mate Arun also welcomed a male and female pair. Both sets of parents are housed off-exhibit, and the cubs are being hand-reared together. In the coming weeks, a female Clouded Leopard cub born March 8 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. will arrive to join Nashville’s four. The zoo plans to place all five on public exhibit this summer. A specific date will be announced soon.
“Nashville Zoo is one of only three zoos in the United States that is currently breeding these dynamic cats,” said Karen Rice, mammal curator at the Zoo. “These cubs will greatly contribute to the Clouded Leopard population and breeding efforts at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions across the country.”
Photo and video credits: Christian Sperka / Nahville Zoo
Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program, Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted Clouded Leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population.
Introducing clouded leopards to potential mates is difficult due to the cat’s reclusive disposition. Male Clouded Leopards are often aggressive and have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce fatal attacks, cubs are hand-raised and introduced to mates at a young age. Since 2009, 11 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.