Nashville Zoo Joins Clouded Leopard Conservation

Posted at 10:12 AM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 11:15:45-04
Big cats are endangered around the world. Here in Nashville, conservation efforts are underway. The Nashville Zoo and local veterinarians are working together to keep their numbers up. 

"We've had 30 cubs at the Nashville Zoo. We have 11 currently," said Heather Robertson, Director of Veterinary Services at the zoo.

Since 2000, the zoo has partnered with zoos around the world to develop breeding programs and help build their numbers back in Thailand. 

This week, the zoo partnered with Nashville Veterinary Specialists to help a two-moth-old female with a paw problem.  

"She is here today because of an injury to her front leg that we think she may have sustained during or shortly after the mother gave birth. It's causing her wrist to turn in and one of her bones in her legs to stop growing," said Robertson. 

Dr. Wes Roach with Nashville Veterinary Specialists takes a look at the problem paw, then the Clouded Leopard is sedated -- takes a catnap -- while they take images.  

They're hoping the CT scan will help them determine what to do moving forward.  

The little cub -- she doesn't have a name yet -- is part of program dedicated to Clouded Leopard conservation.   

"We're not sure how many are in the wild but we know that their numbers are dwindling due to deforestation and hunting and for coat trade," said Robertson. "By having Clouded Leopard's at the Nashville Zoo, we're educating people that these beautiful cats exist and we're sending money back to Thailand to help their cat program." 

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