NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Zoo is welcoming the birth of a clouded leopard, a rare, mysterious cat native to Asia.
Zoo officials say the cub was the first clouded leopard to be conceived through artificial insemination with cryopreserved sperm.
The birth is the result of a project between the Nashville Zoo and the National Zoo. The father lives at the National Zoo. The mother, who is named Tula, was born and raised at the Nashville Zoo.
The cub, who was born Wednesday, has yet to be named.
Clouded leopards are among the rarest of the world’s cat species. They have been notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, so zoo officials say they hope that the successful birth from the artificial insemination will increase the population of clouded leopards.