Cat photos: Clouded Leopard cubs introduced

A clouded leopard plays at its new home in the Houston Zoo. Credit: Houston Zoo

Two 7 month old clouded leopard cubs were introduced to each other at the Houston Zoo.

Clouded leopards are classified by the United States as an endangered species, with fewer than 10,000 in existence throughout parts of Asia.

Scientists know little about the leopards because they are elusive in the wild are only now starting to understand their behavior.

For years, scientists failed to mate captive cats but the animals, presumably solitary in the wild, would stress when encountering another animal in its enclosure. Too often, an adult male would kill the female.

With modern zoos, though, zoologists created natural habitats for the animals who are known to be the most adept climbers of all the felines. Additionally, they discovered that introducing pairs at a very young age decreases stress and increases the chance of a successful mating.

That's how Tarak, the male cub born at the Nashville Zoo, and Suksn, the female born at the Point Defiance Zoo in Washington, came to Houston. Carnivore director of the Houston Zoo, Sara Riger, said the two cats are getting along perfectly.

Scroll more for pictures of the Clouded Leopard cubs...



















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