Miami Zoo Welcomes Two Kittens of a Highly Endangered Clouded Leopard

Miami Zoo recently announced some great news on their social media that will definitely brighten up your day. Last week, the Zoo welcomed two clouded leopard kittens and shared some adorable photos of the cubs on the internet.

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Zoo Miami is excited to announce the successful births of highly endangered clouded leopards. The two kittens were born on February 11 and have been secluded in a den with their mother since then to avoid any external stress and allow proper bonding. ⁣ ⁣⁣ The mother, “Serai,” was born on May of 2011 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center in Virginia and the father, named “Rajasi,” was born in March of 2011 at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee. This is the second successful litter for both parents. Zoo staff was able to separate the mother from her kittens to do an initial neonatal exam on February 26 in order to evaluate the condition of the kittens and accurately determine their sexes. It was confirmed at that time that the litter consisted of one male and one female. Since that time, the kittens have continued to develop well while remaining in seclusion with their mother. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Today, they were once again separated to receive their initial vaccines and to confirm that they are developing well. Both offspring appear to be thriving and the mother continues to be attentive and nursing them on a regular basis. With the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent revelation that a tiger had contracted the disease at another zoological facility, extra care is being taken by all staff working around these kittens. New procedures include stepping into disinfecting footbaths prior to entering any feline area as well as using masks and gloves while working in those areas. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Clouded Leopards are a very secretive cat found in forests within Southern China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Adults usually weigh between 30 and 50 pounds and they have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws to facilitate their frequent arboreal lifestyle. Their diet includes a variety of birds and mammals including monkeys, deer, and porcupines. Clouded leopards have the longest canine teeth relative to their size of any wild cat. They are highly endangered over most of their range due to hunting for their attractive pelts which have ceremonial value in a variety of cultures.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Photo credit: @ronmagillconservation

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According to Ron Magill Zoo’s communications director and goodwill ambassador, the kittens are doing great and are already getting accustomed to the world around them.

“Both of the kittens (girl and a boy) are growing and thriving!,” Magill wrote on his social media. “Hopefully, when this horrible pandemic runs its course, the public will be able to return to the zoo to see these beautiful animals in person!”

Magill also shared some additional photos of the cubs.

Clouded leopards are one of the most endangered cat species, being listed as “vulnerable” by International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. It’s estimated that less than 10,000 of these cats remain in the wild with the population shrinking because of poachers and habitat loss. They are mostly present in Nepal, Bangladesh, eastern India Sumatra and Borneo, southern China and Taiwan.