Clouded leopard born via artificial insemination


Megan Wedhorn

On March 1, a male clouded leopard cub made history at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee. The clouded leopard was born from an artificial insemination, and he was the first of his is species to be born that way.

The birth of the leopard on Wednesday was a major accomplishment for the Nashville Zoo and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Clouded leopards are one of the rarest and most secretive big cat species in the world. Increased stress levels in these big cats have been known to make breeding in captivity difficult. Facilities like the Nashville Zoo, work with artificial insemination specialists to increase the size of the clouded leopard population. This leopard cub, being the first successful offspring produced with cryopreserved (frozen then thawed) semen, is a symbol of how zoos and scientists are working together to keep animal populations populated.

The clouded leopard cub was removed for examination right after birth. He will be hand raised by keepers at Nashville Zoo to ensure survival and lower stress for future hands on care. To learn more about how this cub came to be visit:–smithsonian-make-history-with-birth-of-clouded-leopard