Clouded leopard twins go on public display at Denver Zoo

clouded leopard twinsClouded leopard twins were born March 14th at the Denver Zoo. The clouded leopards are the first of their kind to be born at the zoo ever.

They are the first cubs for mother Lisu and father Taji. The pair was brought together after recommendations from the Species Survival Plan for their species.

The cubs were born in private at the zoo’s Toyota elephant passage.

Unfortunately after birth mum did not tend to the clouded leopard twins so keepers stepped in.

The pair is being hand raised.

Keepers moved them to another building where they received food and medicine every 3 hours.

The clouded leopard twins spent the start of the life in a behind the scenes area of the zoo.

Now they have moved in at the Marynelle Philpott Fishing Cat Lagoon.

Here they inhabit a ‘whelping box’. Here they can learn to be leopards walking, crawling and wrestling. One day they will gain access to the entire exhibit.

For now though this display provides a small glimpse of the clouded leopard twins for the public.

March 14 is also known as Pi day. From this the keepers took inspiration for the cubs names.

They are called Rhu and Pi.

Pi was named for the mathematical constant.

Rhu on the other was named for Rhubarb pie, the favourite dessert of Albert Einstein.

Lisu was hand raised herself. Keepers believe it was this life experience which meant she did not know what to do with her own cubs.

These clouded leopard cubs are an important boost for their species who are classed as vulnerable in the wild.

They hail from South East Asia but their numbers have declined due to deforestation and hunting for their pelts or use in traditional medicines.

Considered a bridge between large and small cats the clouded leopard is not a true leopard. They gain their name for cloud shaped dark blotches on their tawny coats.

These clouded leopard twins represent a big achievement for their species plan which aims to create genetic diversity in the captive population. They can be seen daily in their habitat.

Photo credit: Denver Zoo

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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