bioephemera

i-168e5f629f33e78ca2d5db0d104bb9ee-Woodwardcubs.jpg

Photo by Tracy Woodward, WaPo

Yesterday, zookeepers at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center discovered two newborn clouded leopard cubs in the enclosure of their mother, Jao Chu. This is a big deal because it is notoriously difficult to breed clouded leopards in captivity: males can attack and kill females with whom they aren’t properly bonded, and captive mothers often inadvertently or deliberately kill their cubs. Because of that risk, these two cubs were taken from Jao Chu to be raised by human researchers.

Jao Chu and her mate Hannibal were imported from Thailand last year; the cubs make a total of 16 clouded leopards in captivity at the National Zoo. There are thought to be fewer than 10,000 clouded leopards worldwide.

No word if or when the public will be allowed to view the cubs, but you can see a photo gallery of the ubercute twins at the WaPo.

Comments

  1. #1 Laelaps
    March 25, 2009

    Darn, just missed them. Photos of the new baby gorilla, though, will go up tomorrow.

  2. #2 Christie
    March 25, 2009

    OMG THOSE ARE TOO CUTE!!!

    They make me want to squeal like a preteen girl and cuddle something warm and soft.

  3. #3 Dinle
    March 26, 2009

    Thanx ver nice cat.

  4. #4 michael5000
    March 27, 2009

    We iz breedin in yur zooz!

  5. #5 Patricia
    April 1, 2009

    A pair of gorgeous snow leopard cubs were born at Melbourne Zoo late last year. Their mother is majestically beautiful from her lush coat to her pale blue-green eyes. They released images of them last month:
    http://www.zoo.org.au/News/Snow_Leopard_Cubs
    &
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25145077-2862,00.html