Zoo Miami is beaming about the birth of two highly endangered Clouded Leopard cubs. Since their birth on March 9th, the female kittens have been bonding with their mother in a quiet, cozy den. They first saw the light of day just two days ago while vets checked their vital signs and photographer Ron Magill snapped these first photos.
The mother, named “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 recently able to separate the mother from her cubs for the first time to do a neonatal exam in order to evaluate the condition of the kittens and accurately determine their sexes. Both offspring are doing well and the mother continues to be attentive and nurse them on a regular basis. The mother and kittens will remain off exhibit for the next several weeks until zoo staff determines they are established and stable enough to face the public.
Learn more about Clouded Leopards below the fold and find many more images of these cubs.
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.