We know you probably want to get straight to the video of the impossibly small leopard doing impossibly small things like drinking from a bottle that’s bigger than he is and making insanely cute squeaking noises before curling up in a ball the size of your thumb. But it’s also important to note that this six-day-old clouded leopard signals a major step towards saving an extremely endangered species.
The Nashville Zoo and Smithsonian National Zoo have been working together on global conservation efforts, and this baby leopard is “an enormous accomplishment,” reads a press statement from Dr. Heather Robertson, Director of Veterinary Services at the Zoo. “It means we can collect and preserve semen from clouded leopard populations around the globe and improve pregnancy outcomes from AI procedures in this species.”
This is not only good news for the clouded leopard, but for endangered species at large. “This cub is a symbol of how zoos and scientists can come together to make positive change for animals and preserving global biodiversity,” says Smithsonian researcher Dr. Adrienne Crosier.
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