Nashville Zoo to debut three clouded leopard cubs

Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 10:05pm
Staff reports

Three clouded leopard cubs will be making their public debut Friday at Nashville Zoo.

Visitors can spot Yim, Rajasi and Lisu at the Zoo’s Critter Encounters exhibit until the end of summer.

“Clouded leopards are one of the rarest cats in the world, so this is a great opportunity for our guests to see these elusive cats when they are young,” Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president, said in a release. “At 3 months old, the cubs are healthy and growing quickly, with lots of energy and rough playing with each other.”

The zoo welcomed the two litters of clouded leopards spanning a one-week period in March. Guests can see the trio until the end of the summer, when they will be moved off exhibit and paired with potential breeding mates.

Clouded leopards are seriously 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 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.

Since 2009, seven cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.