Saturday, December 27, 2008

Trying for Cubs Again
Some of you may have followed our efforts at the Zoo to breed our female clouded leopard, Josie, using artificial insemination. We plan to try again this year and have been monitoring Josie for signs of estrus. Clouded leopards in the temperate U.S. typically come into estrus seasonally. Estrus can be difficult to detect, but because Josie is so tractable we can handle her to check for signs. This week she has been showing some of the classics: she's been especially friendly, squatting, flicking her tail, and treading with her hind feet. Mostly, though, she's just enjoying the extra attention!

We plan to try insemination at her next estrus which should occur in three weeks or so. I'll keep you posted. Check the blog archive for detailed posts about last year's procedure and more about breeding clouded leopards. Josie is nearly ten years old now and with each year the odds of a pregnancy decrease. But we are anxious to try...anything to get some of those amazing cloudie cubs around again!


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