UPDATE: Sip Saam and Natida, the Zoo’s clouded leopard cubs born in March, are making public appearances every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. through the end of September 2015.
“It’s been several years since we have exhibited clouded leopard cubs, so I know the public is anxious to see them,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “At nearly four months old, Sip Saam and Natida enjoy exploring the habitat, climbing trees and chasing one another around.”
The cubs can be seen at the lynx habitat, which is temporarily closed due to construction on the new Andean bear exhibit. Visitors should be aware that the clouded leopard’s appearances might be altered on short notice due to construction or weather-related issues.
Nashville Zoo is a leader in clouded leopard conservation and breeding. In addition to Sip Sam and Natida’s births, the Zoo has welcomed two more cubs in 2015. Born June 29, the two females named Giaao and Juup are doing well and are being hand-raised by Zoo staff.
Due to the cat’s reclusive disposition, introducing clouded leopards to potential mates has been difficult, as male clouded leopards have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce these fatal attacks, the Zoo hand-raises cubs and introduces them to mates at a young age. Since 2009, 24 clouded leopards have been raised by the Zoo’s animal care team and have gone on to zoos worldwide
Clouded leopards are considered vulnerable to extinction due to deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. As a founding member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, Nashville Zoo works with organizations around the world to improve husbandry, breeding and genetic diversity for this dynamic species.