Clouded Leopard Cubs Climb to New Heights
September 09, 2017
Toronto Zoo’s four-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs are transitioning to a new play space and zoo guests can now see the sisters during limited times on most days.
Their new den has climbing logs positioned just right for the growing cubs to develop their skills. Right now, the logs are low (at “toddler” level) but they can be repositioned for more challenging exercise as the cubs grow. Clouded Leopards are extremely agile and can even climb on the underside of tree branches, as one of the cubs demonstrates in the photos.
Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo
Born May 13, the cubs were first introduced to ZooBorns readers here. They’ve been under human care ever since they were a few days old because their mother did not care for them properly. By the time the two female cubs were two months old, they were thriving, as reported on ZooBorns.
Keepers report that one of the cubs is more adventurous than her sister and is often the first to dive in to new experiences. They often play wrestle together and seem to enjoy ripping apart banana leaves.
Each cub weighs about eight pounds, and they now eat solid foods – nearly a pound per day each!
Clouded Leopards live in the Himalayan foothills of Southeast Asia, where their numbers are decreasing. About 10,000 Clouded Leopards remain in the wild, but the population is fragmented into groups no larger than 1,000 animals. The forested areas are not large enough to sustain the populations in the long term. Clouded Leopards are poached for the commercial wildlife trade, and body parts are sold on the black market for traditional Asian medicines, which are proven to have no actual health benefits. Clouded Leopards are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
See more photos below.