Lowry Park Zoo’s ultra-adorable clouded cub, Mowgli is entering into his “terrible-twos” (months, that is).
Weighing 2.7kg (6lb) he now has a full set of baby teeth and is getting his first tastes of meat. Of course being a toddler means meal times can get a bit messy. He is also beginning to develop motor skills such as running, jumping, pouncing and starting to climb.
Now that he is getting older keepers are beginning to scale back his handling so that he becomes more independent. From May 9 he will be having his playtime in a temporary enclosure that will help him when he moves to a permanent habitat in the future. It will also provide a safe place for him to try out his new motor skills.
As he develops he will still receive round the clock care from the veterinary professionals at the zoo.
The public can meet Mowgli at his new enclosure each day. They can watch as he plays while learning about the perils of this vulnerable and rare species.
Visitors can also meet his parents, father Yi and mother Mallee each day at the zoo’s Asian gardens area. He is their first cub. He was born following a recommendation from the clouded leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) which aims to increase the genetic diversity in captive populations of this species.
Clouded leopards are the world’s smallest big cat. Adults weigh just 13.6-27.2kg (20-60lb) as adults and measure 1.5m (5ft). In their native home of the Southeast Asian rainforest this species is considered vulnerable to extinction. This is a result of hunting along with the region having the world’s fastest deforestation rate.
Lowry Park Zoo is supporting conservation project WildAid-the Thailand Carnivore Project. This is a non-invasive study of wild cat’s in Thailand including clouded leopards.
Photo Credit: Lowry Park Zoo