Make us your home page
Instagram

Clouded leopard cubs born at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo are all kinds of adorable (w/video)

Just try not to squeal when you see pictures of two rare clouded leopard cubs born last week — on Leap Day — at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. You can try, but it's pretty much impossible not to sink into the cuteness.

They are the first set of multiples for the zoo's adult leopards Yim and Malee, who turn 5 later this month, a zoo news release announced. The cubs are now receiving round-the-clock care at the zoo's veterinary hospital after their mother stopped caring for them within 24 hours of giving birth.

Zoo visitors will not yet be able to see the cubs on public display, zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson said.

In 2015, the parents produced their first successful cub, a male named Mowgli, who relocated to the Midwest last fall to be paired with a female of the same age.

"Increasingly zoos are the last hope for many species due to the loss of habitat and political instability in range countries," said a statement from Dr. Larry Killmar, the Tampa zoo's chief zoological officer. "The birth of these cubs is an example of the collective efforts to manage this species within North American zoos to ensure their survival."

The clouded leopard species is currently listed as vulnerable.

And so is all office work that came to a halt when the pictures were released to the public Tuesday.

The newborn cubs, a male and a female, are feeding well and currently nursing from a bottle five times daily and gaining weight.

At 1 day old, the male weighed about 10.8 ounces and has since grown to almost a full pound at one week.

The female weighed 9 ounces, at 1 day old, and has grown to almost 15 ounces at one week.

When they are several months old, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will make a determination about their future home, the zoo statement said.

Clouded leopards are the smallest of the "big cats," weighing 30 to 50 pounds in adulthood and measuring about 5 feet long. Native to Southeast Asia, clouded leopards are found in forests and rainforests. They are known as shy and reclusive cats. As a forest-dependent species, the leopard's native range is undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation rates. High levels of hunting and poaching also make the species vulnerable to extinction.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

Clouded leopard cubs born at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo are all kinds of adorable (w/video) 03/08/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 3:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  2. Halloween Horror Nights: 'The Shining,' 'Saw' and more things to give you nightmares at Universal Orlando

    Blogs

    The 27th year of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights will scare the pants off you -- in the best possible way.

    The scare zone inspired by horror flick Trick r' Treat is one of the most beautiful at this year's Halloween Horror Nights 27.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 22

    Events

    Arcade Fire: The wildly acclaimed indie rock outfit tour in support of their fifth album, Infinite Content. Presumably, the band will also play songs from their first few albums. Wolf Parade opens. 7 p.m., University of South Florida Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $35-$75. (813) 974-3004.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Musician Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs onstage during The 24th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Shrine Auditorium on December 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Radio.com)
  4. What the 10 terms Merriam-Webster just added to the dictionary say about our foodie culture

    Cooking

    Joining "troll" (as in, a rude person on the Internet, not a bridge-dwelling creature), "alt-right" and "dog whistle," 10 food-related words were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this week. That's out of 250 new terms, a pretty good ratio that signals the ongoing shift toward a more food-obsessed culture, one …

    IPA is one of the words recently added to the dictionary.