Three new felines have arrived at the Nashville Zoo recently — those of the cute and cuddly kind.
On May 4, the zoo’s on-exhibit pair of Eurasian lynx gave birth to a female cub. Earlier, on April 30, the zoo’s breeding pair of clouded leopards — Lom Choy and Luk — gave birth to two more female clouded leopard clubs. The zoo announced the birth of three other clouded leopards about six weeks ago.
Zoo workers were expecting the lynx cub but with a little uncertainty.
“We suspected that our lynx might be pregnant due to a slight weight gain but never had confirmation,” said Connie Philipp, mammal curator. “The cub arrived on its estimated due date based on the data the keepers collected, and she’s now being hand-raised by our animal care staff. She will eventually join an educational outreach program at another zoo.”
Nashville Zoo was previously home to three adult Eurasian lynx — the male and female on exhibit as well as another male. According to a release from the zoo, Eurasian lynx are the largest of the lynx species and are native to Central Asian, European and Siberian forests. While not listed as endangered, Eurasian lynx are rarely seen in some parts of its home range.
The clouded leopard populations in the wild, however, had been reduced to an “endangered” designation in Southeast Asia — and extinct in Taiwan — due to deforestation, poaching and the pet trade, according to the zoo.
The Nashville Zoo has contributed for the past 11 years as a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program.