Rare, clouded leopard kitten born at Oklahoma zoo boosts species survival efforts

A rare, clouded leopard kitten was born at an Oklahoma zoo. (Credit: Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden)

A rare. clouded leopard kitten entered the world at the Oklahoma City Zoo. 

Zoo officials said the mother, Rukai, gave birth to her male kitten on July 18 following a nearly-90 day gestation period. 

The zoo is a participant of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA's) Species Survival Plan for clouded leopards. 

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The association said kitten's birth is "significant" and the first for the vulnerable species in 2023. 

The kitten is reportedly healthy and doing well. Zoo officials said once the kitten is of age, he will be moved to another AZA-accredited facility. 

According to the Smithsonian, the clouded leopards dwell in the forests of Southeast Asia and is one of the most ancient cat species. 

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However, clouded leopards cannot roar or purr. Their population has decreased due to poaching and habitat loss, according to the Smithsonian. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.