Clouded Leopard Cubs Come to Lowry Park Zoo
Two baby endangered clouded leopard cubs are now on the lighthearted prowl at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.
6-month-old felines, a male and female, were born in March in separate litters at Nashville Zoo and Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
The shy but curious cubs have been paired as potential mates by the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The leopard cubs will live in the Asian Gardens exhibit at the zoo.
According to the zoo, there are a total of just 69 clouded leopards in 24 North American AZA-accredited institutions.
The zoo said clouded leopards are found throughout forests and rainforests in Southeast Asia. They are known for being skilled climbers and can even hang from tree branches by their hind feet. Another distinctive feature of clouded leopards is their long canine teeth, which are longer in proportion to body size than those of any other wild cat species.
Interestingly, clouded leopards are not actually leopards, as their name implies, but a separate species of wild cat. The name clouded leopard is taken from the cloud-shaped spots with dark outlines on their tan coats.
The charismatic cubs weighed only about a half pound each at birth, and were hand-raised together by zoo keepers of the two AZA-accredited institutions. Clouded leopards are the smallest of the “big cats,” weighing 30 to 50 pounds in adulthood and measuring about five feet long.
Two female felines named Maddie and Tenchi recently relocated to the Denver Zoo for their golden years