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Two Cute: Lowry Park Welcomes Leopard Cubs

Dave Parkinson/Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

If you visit Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, you'll be lucky to catch a glimpse of the elusive clouded leopard, which is housed in a foliage-rich enclosure near the entrance to the zoo. The Clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa is the shy type, native to Southeast Asia. But the zoo just welcomed two new clouded leopard cubs. And staff provided this closeup of the male and female cubs.

The zoo says after the mom cat gave up feeding the cubs, handlers took over and are hand-rearing the cubs, which are bulking up fast. They are now a week old. And when they are fully grown they'll tip the scales at 30-50 pounds each, according to the zoo. 

In the coming weeks, the cubs will open their eyes, sprout teeth and start scooting around. Lowry Park Zoo says the clouded leopards' future home will be determined once they are a few months old. Clouded leopards are the smallest of the big cats and are listed as vulnerable to extinction because of rapid deforestation of their native range and due to hunting and poaching. 

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