Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Great Cats Communiqué--Smithsonian's National Zoo

This is the second edition of our Great Cats Communiqué. Here at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, we believe that all cat species, no matter size or stature, are great. And our work in the field, at the Zoo and at the Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute with different felid species proves it, from developing innovative methods to breed the elusive and declining clouded leopard to conducting the first and most comprehensive reproductive study for lions. You will be receiving exciting feline-related updates from us the first week of every month.

By all means, share this bulletin with any friend who also thinks cats are great!

Last week we said a bittersweet farewell to our five-year-old Sumatran tiger, Guntur, who was born here at the National Zoo. Guntur (pictured below as he gets into his travel crate) travelled with keeper Leigh Pitsko to Japan as the result of a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan for Sumatran tigers. He is now living at Zoorasia in Yokohama, Japan, where he will meet his recommended mate. From Pitsko:

"Guntur is doing well. He seems to enjoy his new food and is eating all of it. The female is housed right next to him. She looks just like him and is only 15 kg smaller!"

Read our tiger update about what it took to get Guntur ready for his overseas travels

And Guntur's not the only cat on the prowl. Last week we also sent out one of our youngest felines—a clouded leopard cub born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, March 7 this year. Born a singleton, the cub is now living at Nashville Zoo, where she will be paired with a male. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute researchers have determined that pairing clouded leopard cubs while they're young increases the chances for successful breeding.

Thank you so much for your interest in great cats and the Smithsonian's National Zoo!

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