The kitten, who is “eating, sleeping, and growing,” was born in August to a clouded leopard called Rukai, according to the keepers at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
JD, the little tropical predator, is doing well. The zoo said that this little guy would be an essential public ambassador as part of a programme to support the survival of the clouded leopard in the wild, even though 99.999% of people will never get to witness this nocturnal predator in the wild.
Despite all of this gravity, the zoo was still forced to predict that August would be “cloudy, with a 100% chance of making you go ‘Aww.'”
Although clouded leopards are endemic to South and Southeast Asia, they have completely vanished from a number of countries, including Taiwan and Vietnam. According to modern research, more than 9 million years ago, it was the first cat to split from the common progenitors of all large cats.
With their amazing agility, clouded leopards can hang from tree branches by twisting their tail and hind paws around a branch, and they can even descend trees head first. They can hang like monkeys, with their backs to the ground, and climb onto horizontal branches.
The Formosan clouded leopard, a rare population that is endemic to Taiwan, is officially listed as extinct, although enough reports of sightings have left scientists to formally entertain the possibility. They would be the rarest wildcat in the planet if they are still around.
An aloof feline in the wild, clouded leopards were not a popular breed in captivity when they were first introduced.
According to Adrienne Crosier, a scientist at the National Zoo of the Smithsonian, “[Zoos] were having a lot of injuries and even deaths of females when people were trying to do breeding introductions for a long time,” Smithsonian Magazine said.
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“Therefore, we began to mate young individuals—male and female—in order for them to develop a close bond as they grew older and eventually breed as adults.
Four clouded leopard kittens were welcomed earlier this year by the Panther Ridge Conservation Centre in Florida and a zoo in Nashville, which was very beneficial to the species, which is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.