This clouded leopard cub is one of a kind

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

The Nashville Zoo's newest clouded leopard is the first of his species to be born via artificial insemination using cryopreserved semen. That means it was frozen and then thawed.

The procedure was a collaboration between the Nashville Zoo and the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Researchers collected semen from a male clouded leopard at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and deposited it in a female clouded leopard from the Nashville Zoo after inducing ovulation.

13 PHOTOS
Nashville Zoo
See Gallery
Nashville Zoo
Bengal Tiger cub, (Panthera tigris tigris), resting in the grass; Nashville Zoo, Tennessee.
Happy #NationalPigDay from our red river hog herd! https://t.co/P98IsZb1ci
"Good morning," from the Aviary sloth duo, Edith and Emmett! Mom is still toting Emmett around. He is still loving… https://t.co/MuoKGdhhGv
Meerkat perches on stone and scans the surrounding area.
Nashville's got a new giraffe in town! Meet the newest addition - https://t.co/uvDfWAguZq https://t.co/M4ihvIMNhB
Makaio was the 1st white-cheeked gibbon born at Nashville Zoo and are considered critically endangered in their nat… https://t.co/uD4QOhnuME
Coral colored flamingos in water at the Nashville, Tennessee Zoo.
We are home to the largest collection of captive giant anteaters in the U.S. - guests can see them on Backstage Pas… https://t.co/PVDmaWaAih
We are the only zoo in the U.S. to successfully breed this rare species - learn more about this hatching on our blo… https://t.co/PmgzP48RaO
Bengal Tiger, (Panthera tigris tigris); Nashville Zoo.
What better way to start your Monday than with a bad hair day. Rhonda the screech owl was not ready for the weekend… https://t.co/uHliioDpFu
Here's your #Nashville Zoo Picture of the Week! A waxy monkey frog sits on a leaf inside her exhibit in our Unseen… https://t.co/wueeQFmdI0
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

It's good news for the clouded leopard population, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable.

SEE MORE: Cheetahs Are Dangerously Close To Becoming Extinct

Clouded leopards are hunted for their pelts, which feature spots much larger than traditional leopards. And their habitat — forests in Southeast Asia and the Himalayas — is quickly being cut down.

Both zoos hope the artificial insemination method used to create the new leopard cub will help maintain clouded leopard populations around the world, as well as captive ones in the U.S.

The cub has not been named yet. The staff at the Nashville Zoo will raise him.


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners