Born yesterday

Alert reader Michael sends us a lovely video of two healthy clouded leopard cubs (an endangered species) that were born yesterday at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. It’s short but sweet:

Clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) are, in my view, one of the three most beautiful species of felid in the world (tigers and snow leopards are the others). You can read about the new cubs at the zoo’s website, and Greg and I have posted several times about this species (here, here, here, and here).


  1. heleen
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Useless piano muzac and no explanation why they are being hand-reared and not with mom.

    • Grania
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      The zoo’s website says it’s for the cub’s safety although it doesn’t go into detail. I guess careful rearing by humans might be a better way of ensuring they grow to healthy adulthood.

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. heleen & Marta, visit the link.

    • Marta
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    • ZenDruid
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Infidel! That was Bach’s Prelude#22!

  2. Grania
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I have nothing intelligent to say.
    I just came for an Awwww.

    • Marella
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Me too, awwww.

  3. Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The feeling we all have at seeing this baby clouded leopard is just another indication of the presence and power of evolution. Both babies and helplessness trigger our instinctive protective nature. Its an inter-species thing.

    • Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Exactly, otherwise, much like our own young, we might eat them.

  4. Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Very beautiful. Sad that zoos are doing this captive breeding before actual ecological issues (habitat loss, poaching, climate change) are addressed in an adequate manner. Zoos should take in the nonreleaseables instead.

  5. Curt Nelson
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I just listened to a podcast in which a scientist described the gut flora of seals, how contact with the mother plays a role in which species comprise it… I wonder how the health of these bottle-fed animal babies is affected.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Many livestock babies reared apart from their mothers are still fed the all important colostrum from the mother’s first milk. Probably not that easy to get colostrum from a clouded leopard, tho!

  6. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for the black panther (no surprise there), so I would rank either leopard high.

    And kawaii!

  7. Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely here for the “awwww” factor, too! 🙂
    Will be anxiously tracking the growing up and rearing of this little one.

  8. Jim Thomerson
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    My impression, from watching Animal Planet, is that several generations of clouded leopards have been hand raised in captivity. Perhaps to the point that that is the new normal. On one of the programs, the guy just walked up to the clouded leopard mom and carried them away. No reaction on her part. Are clouded leopards becoming domesticated?

  9. Diane G.
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow, a “cub den,” and a Cats of the Canopy exhibit. Gotta find a way to get out to Tacoma!

  10. MAUCH
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    My nomination for the most beautiful specie in the world is the Naked Mole-Rat. Well anyway it’s the most interesting.

  11. Jim Thomerson
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Specie is money. A single biological species is species, not specie. unless you can get a grant.;-)

  12. Paulino
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Clouded leopards are also almost saber-toothed!

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