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August 18, 2022

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Two Clouded Leopards Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo now has 16 clouded leopards in their care.

Nashville Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a male and female clouded leopard on June 30.

The cubs weighed in at about half a pound and measured around 4 inches in length at birth which is much larger than the average cub. Nashville Zoo now has 16 clouded leopards in their care. In total, Nashville Zoo has celebrated the birth of 42 clouded leopards since 2009. These are the first cubs to be raised at the Zoo since 2019.

This birth is significant because the parents (Jewels and Bruce) have not successfully had cubs before. Both Jewels and Bruce are three years old and were paired by the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) at an early age based on their compatible genetics. The cubs are being hand-reared by the Zoo’s veterinary team and will be visible in a few weeks in the neonatal care room at Nashville Zoo’s veterinary center.

“We hand-rear clouded leopard cubs at the recommendation of the SSP,” said Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Heather Robertson, DVM. “Clouded leopards under human care can be introduced to mates at a young age allowing the pair to grow up together and, ultimately, get along with each other.”

Clouded leopards (Neofelis Nebulosa) are native to the tropical lowlands of Southeast Asia in countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh. They are considered vulnerable to extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to deforestation, poaching and pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a leader in clouded leopard conservation and is one of the founding members of the Clouded Leopard Consortium, a program based out of Thailand dedicated to saving clouded leopards and their habitat. The Zoo is also part of Clouded Leopard SSP® which helps to ensure genetically diverse populations amongst this species in human care.

For more on clouded leopards, visit www.nashvillezoo.org/clouded-leopard-conservation.

 

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 3-year-old Ezra.