Jessica: In Front Royal, the clouded leopard habitats are tall silos, with plenty of branches for climbing. Our facility also is designed with breeding in mind. While clouded leopards can breed in zoos, research shows there is a higher chance of success if the cats are in a more private space. Our campus is closed to the public, and the clouded leopards’ enclosures are located a ways away from the main campus to minimize disturbances.
Introducing clouded leopards can be a challenge. It’s always easier to introduce cubs, like Jilian and Paitoon. Now we are introducing our 13-year-old male, Ta Moon, to our 4-year-old female, Ariel. It’s more challenging because they are both older.
Our facility is designed with “howdy” windows, which allow Ta Moon and Ariel to see, smell and interact with each other with a safety barrier in between. Once we see positive signs, we can open the doors between their enclosures to give them access to each other’s space. All these elements increase our chances of a successful introduction and breeding.