Reclusive Clouded Panthers born in Paris zoo

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A pair of reclusive Clouded Leopard cubs, or Neofelis nebulosa, were born two months ago in a rare birth in captivity for the species and are doing well, a Paris zoo said Wednesday.

The two female cubs, Parti and Jaya, were born May 14 in the Jardin des Plantes menagerie to Luang, formerly from Britain's Howletts zoo, and father Samar, who was brought to Paris from Prague.

A medium-sized cat found in Southeast Asia, the Clouded Leopard has a tan or tawny coat marked with large, irregular ellipses shaped somewhat like clouds. Because of its reclusive behaviour, little is known about it and breeding in captivity has often proven troublesome.

"After two months we believe the situation is stable," said the zoo's Mathieu Dorval. "The little panthers are behaving normally and are putting on weight as expected."

Some 10,000 Clouded Panthers are believed to be in the wild and 40 are currently in 13 European zoos.

© 2010 AFP

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