Niron was conceived through artificial insemination using frozen/thawed sperm, the first time this technique was successfully used in Clouded Leopards. The project is a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the Nashville Zoo, where the cub was born. The procedure is explained in the cub’s birth announcement on ZooBorns.
Photo Credits: Kelsey White (2,3), Dr. Margarita Woc Colburn (1,4,5,6,7,8)
All Clouded Leopard cubs are reared by hand at the Nashville Zoo, a technique that prevents predation by the parents, enables cubs to be paired at an early age, and allows the normally nervous species to become acclimated to human interaction.
Clouded Leopards are one of the rarest and most secretive of the world’s Cat species, and little is known about them. They inhabit remote areas of southern China and other parts of Southeast Asia. Clouded Leopards are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 10,000 adults remaining in the wild.
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