Top Stories

New cat in town: Pittsburgh Zoo introduces new clouded leopard

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has welcomed a new male clouded leopard named JD!

The zoo said JD was brought in as a partner to Rukai, the zoo's young female clouded leopard.

JD came from the Nashville Zoo and was immediately introduced to Rukai to make sure they would be a good fit.

Clouded leopards JD and Rukai at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

The two were a little cautious of each other at first, but ended up playing with each other within an hour, according to the Zoo.

"We were thrilled to see how fast they accepted each other," says Karen Vacco, assistant curator of mammals at the Pittsburgh Zoo. "The next step is to introduce the pair to the outside yard."


The Pittsburgh Zoo's other clouded leopard, Kansas, moved back to her original home at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Kansas after JD arrived.

Kansas was brought to the Pittsburgh Zoo in May as a companion to Rukai.

"This is the best scenario for all three cubs," says Vacco. "Kansas now will be able to be with a new mate back in Tanganyika Wildlife Park, and we're hopeful that JD and Rukai will continue to be a perfect match."