En­dan­gered clouded leop­ard kit­tens born in Miami zoo, victory in preser­va­tion fight

The China Post - - LIFE -

Two clouded leop­ard kit­tens were born this month at the Miami Zoo, a treat for the dot­ing keep­ers and a victory in the fight to pre­serve a vul­ner­a­ble species.

The medium-sized cat, which is not closely re­lated to the African leop­ard, lives in forests of South East Asia and fewer than 10,000 are thought to ex­ist in the wild.

The zoo said the kit­tens, both fe­males born on March 9, are in an en­clo­sure with their mother to “avoid any ex­ter­nal stress and al­low the mother to prop­erly bond with them.”

Their mother Serai and fa­ther Ra­jasi were born in 2011 in other Amer­i­can zoos. The kit­tens are the par­ents’ sec­ond suc­cess­ful lit­ter.

“Both off­spring are do­ing well and the mother con­tin­ues to be at­ten­tive and nurse them on a regular ba­sis,” the zoo said.

They al­ready sport the clouded leop­ard’s char­ac­ter­is­tic large, dark and cloud-like spots on a light back­ground. Vis­i­tors should be able to view them in the com­ing weeks.

Found in the wild in south­ern China, Myan­mar and Malaysia, adult clouded leop­ards usu­ally weigh be­tween 30 and 50 pounds (14 to 23 kilo­grams) and have a very long tail with rel­a­tively short legs and large paws.

They eat birds and mam­mals such as mon­keys, deer and por­cu­pines, and are in turn prey to hu­man hun­ters who prize them for their pelts.

AFP

This hand­out photo ob­tained on March 30 from the Miami Zoo in Miami, Florida shows two fe­male clouded leop­ards.

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