Clouded Leopard Cubs Make Public Debut at Nashville Zoo
Two clouded leopard cubs are now on exhibit at Nashville Zoo. Zoo guests can see Niran and new cub, Kuso, in the clouded leopard habitat along the Zoo’s Bamboo Trail.
“Kuso came to Nashville Zoo to be a friend to our cub, Niran. Since the two are right around the same age, pairing them as playmates was good for both of them to learn all things clouded leopard together,” says Dr. Heather Robertson, Director of Veterinary Services at the Zoo. “We are so excited for the public to meet these cubs and can't wait for visitors to be able to see these cubs learn and grow as they explore a new environment.”
Niran (male) was born at Nashville Zoo on March 1 and was the first clouded leopard in the world to be born from an artificial insemination (AI) procedure using frozen/thawed semen. Kuso (male) was born at Tanganyika Wildlife Park on March 11 and arrived at Nashville Zoo in late May.
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. Niran and Kuso will be playmates until they are both old enough to be paired with females.
Clouded leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Since 2000, 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, and Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. Since 2009, 31 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo.
About Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. Celebrating 20 years at Grassmere, the Zoo attracts more than 890,000 visitors annually and is considered one of the top attractions in Nashville. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit nashvillezoo.org.