News From Our Blog

From the National Zoo:

A female clouded leopard at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology  Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, gave birth to a litter of two  cubs Monday, March 28. Staff had been on a pregnancy watch of the  two-year-old Sita for one day. Sita gave birth to the first cub at 1:15  p.m. and the second cub at 1:25 p.m. The male cub weighed 9.48 ounces  and the female cub weighed 7.76 ounces. This is the first litter for  Sita, who came from the Nashville Zoo, and the father, two-year-old Ta  Moon. The cubs are being hand-reared by SCBI staff.
The cubs’  births are significant as they represent a second generation of  genetically valuable clouded leopards at SCBI. Ta Moon’s birth in March  2009 marked the first time clouded leopard cubs were born at SCBI after  16 years. The breeding of clouded leopards has been a challenge,  primarily because of male aggression. These new cubs are the direct  result of SCBI’s scientific breakthrough in animal care science to  introduce males to their mates when they are six months old. This allows  the pair to grow up together and reduce the risk of agressive attacks.
The  Zoo has been working with clouded leopards at SCBI since 1978, with the  goal of creating a genetically diverse population. In the past 30  years, more than 70 clouded leopards have been born at SCBI. The clouded  leopards at the Front Royal campus are in need of a new home. They  currently live in a facility that was built in 1911. In 2009, the  National Zoo kicked off a campaign to raise $2 million to build a new  facility. The habitats for each breeding pair will include a  climate-controlled and quiet indoor area attached to two 20-foot-tall  outdoor towers furnished with climbing structures, which will simulate  their natural forest environment.

From the National Zoo:

A female clouded leopard at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, gave birth to a litter of two cubs Monday, March 28. Staff had been on a pregnancy watch of the two-year-old Sita for one day. Sita gave birth to the first cub at 1:15 p.m. and the second cub at 1:25 p.m. The male cub weighed 9.48 ounces and the female cub weighed 7.76 ounces. This is the first litter for Sita, who came from the Nashville Zoo, and the father, two-year-old Ta Moon. The cubs are being hand-reared by SCBI staff.

The cubs’ births are significant as they represent a second generation of genetically valuable clouded leopards at SCBI. Ta Moon’s birth in March 2009 marked the first time clouded leopard cubs were born at SCBI after 16 years. The breeding of clouded leopards has been a challenge, primarily because of male aggression. These new cubs are the direct result of SCBI’s scientific breakthrough in animal care science to introduce males to their mates when they are six months old. This allows the pair to grow up together and reduce the risk of agressive attacks.

The Zoo has been working with clouded leopards at SCBI since 1978, with the goal of creating a genetically diverse population. In the past 30 years, more than 70 clouded leopards have been born at SCBI. The clouded leopards at the Front Royal campus are in need of a new home. They currently live in a facility that was built in 1911. In 2009, the National Zoo kicked off a campaign to raise $2 million to build a new facility. The habitats for each breeding pair will include a climate-controlled and quiet indoor area attached to two 20-foot-tall outdoor towers furnished with climbing structures, which will simulate their natural forest environment.

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