FIVE CLOUDED LEOPARD CUBS NOW ON EXHIBIT AT NASHVILLE ZOO AT GRASSMERE

Jun 11 2012 NASHVILLE, Tenn.

 

Guests at Nashville Zoo can now enjoy the chasing, climbing and exploring activities of Indira, Drupada, Tarak, Tula and Nuri, the Zoo’s five clouded leopard cubs.  The cubs can be seen daily on the Zoo’s Bamboo Trail through the end of summer.

“Five clouded leopards together is very unusual, so this is really a unique opportunity for our guests,” said Karen Rice, Carnivore Supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “At this stage in development, the cubs are very rambunctious, with lots of playing, climbing and pouncing. They really are a lot of fun to watch.”

The five cubs are now three and four months old. Indira (female) and Drupada (male) were born Feb. 13, and Tarak (female) and Tula (male) were born March 11. A fifth cub, named Nuri (female), was born March 8 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and joined Nashville Zoo’s foursome in May. Guests can see them until the end of the summer when they will be moved off exhibit and paired with potential breeding mates.

 Clouded leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade.  Since 1999, 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 of Thailand (ZPO) and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population.

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. Since 2009, 12 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.

Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry.  Attracting more than 640,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership.  For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.

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Cindy Dupree
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cindy.dupree@tn.gov
(615) 741-9010