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Two Clouded Leopards Born at National Zoo

At the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia, two clouded leopard cubs were born March 28. This wild Asian cat species is considered vulnerable, with fewer than 10,000 mature individuals left in multiple population clusters of 1,000 or less. Large-scaled deforestation has reduced their habitat to a precarious level. Commercial poaching is also contributing to their decline. Their bones and body parts are sometimes substituted for those from tigers from traditional Asian medicine. In a survey conducted in Myanmar, over 300 body parts from 279 clouded leopards were counted in four markets over a fifteen-year period.

cloud leopard cub

In the past thirty years more than 70 clouded leopard cubs have been born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The research and conservation organization is trying to raise money to construct a better enclosure for their cloud leopards.

Image Credits: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

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4:53PM PST on Feb 28, 2012

to much fun to watch...the handlers and the cats were having fun.

11:46PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

they are feisty little things

9:27PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Very cute! I love to watch them play. They seem happy.

5:25PM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

clouded leopards are amazingly gorgeous! That institute has bred 70 of them! Wow!

6:18AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Lovely!

1:47PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

They are so cute, thank you

2:31AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

真高興牠們受到好的照顧與待遇~牠們倆隻是幸運的大貓!

10:33PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

OMG... it could possibly be due to a recent, ah, alteration of reality on my part...plus a glass of wine... but, even handicapping for that, THAT HAS GOT TO BE THE GREATEST VIDEO I'VE EVER SEEN! Breathtakingly charming! Thank you!!!! Yer one in a million, Jake.

6:34PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

thanks

2:38PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Too bad they can't be playing in the wild......;o(

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