Back in March, we brought you news of Nashville Zoo's back-to-back litters of Clouded Leopard cubs. Now three and four months old, we check back in on the curious felines as they explore their exhibit. As demonstrated in the video below, Clouded Leopards are among the best feline tree climbers and have been observed walking down trees head first among other feats of arboreal acrobatics.
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.
Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of two giant anteaters! The first, a male named Mochilo (above), was born on April 25 to mom Tiana. On May 6, mom Consuela gave birth to a female named Dulce, pictured below. Both babies are doing well and living with their mothers at the Zoo’s off-exhibit anteater breeding facility.
The babies will ride on their mom's back for up to a year, intermittently spending some time on the ground as they grow. This is for several reasons - one is protection from predators. They camoflague themselves by lining their shoulder stripe up with the mother's. It's also a way to keep up with their mother, who can cover a lot of ground moving from one termite mound to another, consuming up to 30,000 termites in a day. Though they nurse for about 12 months, they begin to supplement their diets with what she eats.
Photo Credit: Amiee Stubbs
Nashville Zoo, in Nashville Tennessee, has been involved in giant anteater conservation for 13 years and has the largest collection of anteaters in the country. The off-exhibit breeding facility is the only one of its kind in the United States. Giant anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the giant anteater as vulnerable, although it is considered extinct in areas of Belize,Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.
Today we check back in on the Nashville Zoo's playful trio of Clouded Leopard cubs. Because of high infant mortality rates, these cubs are being hand-raised by Zoo staff. Nashville Zoo participates in the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, which leads a multi-faceted conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining breeding program. Don't miss the video below which is one part fascinating and three parts frolicking.
Nashville Zoo's troublemsome trio of Clouded Leopard Kittens is just over a month old. The three are beginning to fully open their eyes and are much more active than they were just four weeks ago. Clouded Leopards are vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss. Nashville Zoo participates in the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, which leads a multi-faceted conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining breeding program.
Video and photo credits: Christian Sperka
See more pictures of the cubs after the jump
A female Clouded Leopard at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, gave birth to a litter of two cubs Monday, March 28. Staff had been on a pregnancy watch of the two-year-old Sita for one day. Sita gave birth to the first cub at 1:15 p.m. and the second cub at 1:25 p.m. The male cub weighed 9.48 ounces and the female cub weighed 7.76 ounces. This is the first litter for Sita, who came from the Nashville Zoo, and the father, two-year-old Ta Moon. The cubs are being hand-reared by SCBI staff.
The cubs’ births are significant as they represent a second generation of genetically valuable clouded leopards at SCBI. Ta Moon’s birth in March 2009 marked the first time clouded leopard cubs were born at SCBI after 16 years. The breeding of clouded leopards has been a challenge, primarily because of male aggression. These new cubs are the direct result of SCBI’s scientific breakthrough in animal care science to introduce males to their mates when they are six months old. This allows the pair to grow up together and reduce the risk of agressive attacks.
More images below the fold...
Nashville Zoo just welcomed two litters of Clouded Leopards born March 19 and 22. Weighing only about half a pound each, the cubs are healthy and being hand-raised together by zoo keepers since Clouded Leopard are vulnerable to extinction and have a high mortality rate as cubs. Clouded leopards are threatened by deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Since 2002, Nashville Zoo has been 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 in Thailand and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining breeding program.
The video below focuses on how to photograph animals but includes some great footage of the cubs towards the end.
Nashville Zoo’s clouded leopard Jing Jai gave birth to a rare female cub on May 24. This is the second clouded leopard birth at the Zoo in two years as the Zoo continues its work to save this species in decline. At one month old, the cub, named Matsi, weighs 1.5 pounds and is being hand-reared by Zoo staff. Clouded leopards are seriously endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade.
Photo credits: Christian Sperka
“Clouded leopard conservation is a unique and ambitious project at Nashville Zoo,” said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president. “The birth of the female cub not only adds to a worldwide clouded leopard population that is rapidly decreasing, but it also increases the genetic viability of the captive population.”
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On Friday we brought you the story of a little Eurasian Lynx cub born at the Nashville Zoo during last week's torrential flooding. Today we bring you the second storm baby, a Baird's tapir calf named "Noah." Little Noah was born in the midst of the thunder and pouring rain but seems no worse for wear. Baird's tapirs are the national animal of Belize and are commonly referred to as "mountain cows" in Central and South America, although they are more close related to horses and rhinos.
Photo credits: Christian Sperka
This past weekend, record rainfall caused catastrophic flooding in Nashville and the Nashville Zoo staff worked day and night to ensure their animals' welfare. Their hard work paid off with not one, but two remarkable births, welcoming a Eurasian lynx cub on Saturday and a Baird's tapir on Sunday. The tiny baby lynx is being hand-raised by keepers and will eventually join "Wildlife on Wheels”: the Zoo’s educational outreach program that takes animals to schools, senior centers, hospitals and other community areas that might not be able to make it to the zoo on their own. The mother lynx is showing no signs of stress that her baby is being hand-raised.
Photo credits: Christian SperkaTune in Monday when we bring you Nashville's second storm baby, the aptly named tapir, "Noah." In the meantime, learn about how you can help the Nashville Zoo recover from the devastating flooding.