National Zoo clouded leopard gives birth to two cubs

Thursday - 4/7/2011, 4:02pm EDT

  • Gallery: (3 images)

The cubs are the first litter for mother Sita and father Ta Moon. (Courtesy of Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian's National Zoological Park)

WASHINGTON - Apparently not everyone is stressed about the looming government shutdown.

A female clouded leopard gave birth late last month to two cubs at the National Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. The male cub in the litter weighed 9.48 ounces, and the female cub weighed 7.76 ounces.

The cubs' births are the first litter for mother Sita and father Ta Moon, and zoo officials say they were born as a result of the institute's breakthrough practice of bringing together males with their mates when the males are six months old, which reduces the risk of the male leopards attacking the females.

More than 70 clouded leopards have been born at the institute in the past 30 years. The zoo also aims to build a new facility for the animals, which are currently living in a 100-year-old facility.

To learn more about the building campaign, click here. And to look at cute cuddly photos of the clouded leopard cubs, check out the gallery.

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