Rare Nashville clouded leopard opens his eyes

(Courtesy: Nashville Zoo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The newest addition at the Nashville Zoo is growing bigger every day and recently opened his eyes for the first time.

The male clouded leopard cub is now three weeks old and zoo officials announced he has been named Niran.

Niran, which is pronounced Nee-ron, means eternal.

Zoo officials say Niran 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.

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.

To read more about Niran, click here.

(Courtesy: Nashville Zoo)