Clouded Leopard

(UPDATE!) National Zoo Clouded Leopard Cubs Grow Up and Chow Down


The Clouded Leopard cubs born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., Feb. 6, are healthy and growing. At nearly two months old, they just received their first vaccinations. As they have grown, their diet has changed to match their appetites and nutritional needs. When the cubs were first born they were bottle-fed by keepers every couple of hours, but they recently graduated from bottle-only feedings. In addition to fewer bottle feedings, they receive four feedings of chopped and cooked chicken meat mixed with a small feline diet. The male cub weighs almost three and a half pounds and his female sibling just over two and a half pounds. The cubs will remain at SCBI until they are three and a half months old. They will then move to other zoos for eventual breeding as recommended by the Species Survival Plan. Listed as vulnerable to extinction in the wild, SCBI has successfully bred more than 70 clouded leopards over the past 30 years and is a leader in conservation science initiatives to save the species.




Photo credits: Janice Sveda, Smithsonian's National Zoo

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Two Handfuls of Clouded Leopard Born at Smithsonian National Zoo

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On February 6th, two Clouded Leopard cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute of Smithsonian National Zoo

Six days later, the zoo announced that the cubs had opened their eyes and had healthy appetites, drinking milk seven times a day! 

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Photo Credits: Janice Sveda / Smithsonian National Zoo

Watch caretakers of Smithsonian National Zoo hand-rearing Clouded Leopard cubs born in March 2011. Sita and Ta Moon are the mother and father of this year's newborn cubs as well as the cubs in the video. 

Learn more about Clouded Leopards after the fold. 

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Two Playful Clouded Leopard Cubs Arrive at San Diego Zoo

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Two 14-week-old Clouded Leopard cubs, Riki-san and Haui-san, were spotted pouncing, climbing and using each other as trampolines in the San Diego Zoo's Children’s Zoo nursery. The cubs arrived earlier this week from the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, where a very successful breeding program has helped to increase the population of this critically endangered species. 

Brothers Riki-san and Haui-san will spend 30 days in quarantine, where they are visible to the public daily and have already become guest favorites. After this quarantine period, the cubs will join the Zoo’s Backstage Pass animal ambassador program.

Named for its cloud-like spots, the male Clouded Leopard can weigh up to 50 pounds 22.6 kgs). This cat is found mostly in the Southeast Asian rain forest and is an excellent swimmer and climber. In fact, the Clouded Leopard and the Margay from South America are the only cat species that can climb down a tree head first, thanks to the flexibility of the ankle joints. 


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Photo Credit: ZSSD/San Diego Zoo

Thirteen-pound Riki-san (right) is the larger of the two cats but is also the more timid one. His coat pattern is darker and his rosettes more pronounced. According to zookeepers, Haui-san, at 11.5 pounds, is feisty and quite playful, enticing his bigger brother to wrestle and play a game of chase.

Rare Clouded Leopard Birth at Singapore Night Safari

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Barely a year since its first successful birth of Clouded Leopards, Night Safari recently welcomed another litter of cubs. The three cubs that arrived on 14 April 2012 were born to parents Tawan and Wandee, who had their first litter in May last year. Clouded Leopards are among the world’s rarest and most secretive wild cat species.

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Singapore Night Safari

Named for the cloud-like patterns of their coats, which help them disappear into the shadows of the forest, Clouded Leopards are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. This second birth is a result of a planned breeding program, which saw the introduction of Tawan and Wandee at an early age to promote bonding and minimise aggression. The mating pair arrived from Thailand’s Khao Kheow Open Zoo three years ago.

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Checking-in on Nashville Zoo's Clouded Leopard Cubs

Cub in grass - Amiee Stubbs
Photo credit: Amiee Stubbs

Back in March, we brought you news of Nashville Zoo's back-to-back litters of Clouded Leopard cubs. Now three and four months old, we check back in on the curious felines as they explore their exhibit. As demonstrated in the video below, Clouded Leopards are among the best feline tree climbers and have been observed walking down trees head first among other feats of arboreal acrobatics. 

Clouded Leopard Cubs To Turn Two Months Old!

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Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo's Clouded Leopard cubs have names: The female, is now Suksn (pronounced Sook-Son); her brother, is Chận sūng (pronounced Chan-Soon). Her new name means "mischievous;" his means "noble." Nearly 6,000 votes were cast in the name-the-cubs survey. This Sunday, the cubs turn two months old and, as you can see, they are getting more playful every time we check in with them!

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Two Sets of Twin Clouded Leopards For Nashville!


Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the births of two litters of Clouded Leopards. On Feb. 13, Lom Choy and her mate Luk welcomed two cubs, one male and one female. On March 11, Jing Jai and her mate Arun also welcomed a male and female pair. Both sets of parents are housed off-exhibit, and the cubs are being hand-reared together. In the coming weeks, a female Clouded Leopard cub born March 8 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. will arrive to join Nashville’s four. The zoo plans to place all five on public exhibit this summer. A specific date will be announced soon. 

“Nashville Zoo is one of only three zoos in the United States that is currently breeding these dynamic cats,” said Karen Rice, mammal curator at the Zoo. “These cubs will greatly contribute to the Clouded Leopard population and breeding efforts at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions across the country.” 

Photo and video credits: Christian Sperka / Nahville Zoo

Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program, Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) and HKS Design and Consultants International to develop a multi-faceted Clouded Leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. 

Introducing clouded leopards to potential mates is difficult due to the cat’s reclusive disposition. Male Clouded Leopards are often aggressive and have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce fatal attacks, cubs are hand-raised and introduced to mates at a young age. Since 2009, 11 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.

Clouded Leopard Babies Are Back!

Photo credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's endangered Clouded Leopard, Chai Li, gave birth to two healthy cubs yesterday, one female (photo) and one male. It is Chai Li and Nah Fun's second litter and mom and cubs are doing well. Learn more about the birth at the zoos web page about the cubs and stay tuned for more photo and video updates!

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Look Ma... No Paws!!


The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's 2-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs born June 14th are growing up fast and struttin' their stuff in pictures taken Friday.  Point Defiance Zoo is one of only three zoos in the country breeding endangered Clouded Leopards, along with the Smithsonian's National Zoo and The Nashville Zoo.





Photo credits: Seth Bynum / Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium