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If you needed a dose of cute to get you through the day, then you’re in luck because some recent additions to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA will give you not one, but three doses.

At the end of March the zoo saw the birth of three clouded leopard cubs, two male and one female. The leopards, so-called because of their thundercloud markings, are currently under the round-the-clock care of the zookeepers and are being bottle fed every three hours around six times a day. Visitors can see them during feeding times at 10AM and 1:30PM.

When they were born they weighed around 13 ounces but now at three weeks old they weigh around two pounds and are all healthy. And, obviously, incredibly adorable.

They are, however, endangered in the wild with their habitats being destroyed by palm oil manufacturing—and they’re killed by poachers too. Because they are so elusive it’s not known exactly how many of them are left in the wild (there are 116 in North American zoos), but through breeding programs like the Species Survival Plan which Point Defiance Zoo partakes in, scientists can study their habits and hopefully use this knowledge to help conserve them.

“These cats are very rare,” said Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s general curator Karen Goodrowe. “We hope visitors to the zoo will connect with them and be inspired to take action to help save their species in the wild.”

Learn more about the cloud leopards on the zoo’s website.

And learn more about conservation of the animals here.






























Photos via Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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