The Naples Zoo in the United States welcomed a pair of newborn clouded leopard kittens last Friday, adding hope to the possibility of survival of the endangered species.
On February 22, 3-year-old clouded leopard Tika gave birth to the first kitten—a female that weighed 262 grams at birth at 7:49am, NBC-2 reported. She was followed by her younger sister, who was born at 8:32am, weighing in at 244 grams.
The kittens are currently being bottle-fed by animal care staff, who will also be hand-rearing them. The zoo says that this has been the practice that has produced the best results, specifically for the kittens’ health and well-being.
The kittens will have their names announced by the zoo next week and will not be put on exhibit.
Clouded leopards are native to the trees and forests of Southeast Asia and are particularly elusive. They have been put in a constant struggle for survival due to their natural habitat being destroyed by human encroachment and poaching.