Rare clouded leopard kitten born at Oklahoma City Zoo

OKLAHOMA CITY — A new furry friend has arrived at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

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According to KOKI-TV, the attraction announced Tuesday that 2-year-old clouded leopard Rukai and her mate, JD, welcomed a female cub on Aug. 6, marking the first successful birth for the new parents. Personnel are following an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan recommendation to hand-rear the cub, the zoo said in a news release.

“Immediately following the kitten’s birth, the zoo’s carnivore caretakers stepped in and began caring for this little cloudie,” the release said. “She was moved to a climate-controlled incubator to help regulate her body temperature and caretakers started round-the-clock bottle feedings of a specialty felid formula and continuous monitoring. Caretakers report the kitten is healthy and doing everything a newborn should be doing – eating, sleeping and growing!”

Cloudy with a 100% chance of cute! We're thrilled to announce the arrival of a rare clouded leopard kitten. Following...

Posted by Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

In a statement, the zoo’s carnivore curator, Tyler Boyd, said the staff is “thrilled” with the cub’s progress.

“For myself and entire team, the opportunity to care for this offspring, who is incredibly valuable to the conservation of this critically vulnerable species, is a career highlight,” he added.

For now, the zoo will continue to care for the kitten, who won’t be on public display, and post social media updates about her progress, the release said. She will later move to another zoo and be introduced to a mate, officials said.

About 10,000 clouded leopards currently live in the wild, according to the news release.

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