THIS JUST IN: Lovely Leopard Lads

Last Valentine’s Day, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo welcomed two clouded leopard cubs. Yesterday the Zoo released a new set of “glamour shots” of the two boys. See more squee-worthy shots on their website.

Credit goes to the Smithsonian National Zoo.


  1. victoreia says:

    How gorgeous!


    My mother just said “Do they stay small?” Wishful thinking, Mom.

  3. Natalie says:

    Um, O.M.G. Could they BE any more adorable and pretty at the same time? They look so alert in every shot! And the markings! I’m not one to say it usually, but I have to: SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! OMG PONIES!!!1!!!!!1111!!!!

  4. Malinki says:

    I was once fortunate enough to be able to play with a leopard kitten.

    They do not stay small, unfortunately 😀

  5. Finally, a couple of lepord spotters to help out bench press kitty!

  6. it says they only get to be 30 – 50 pounds… i’m sure they’d get along fine with my cats…
    /grabby hands/

  7. 260Oakley says:

    Baby leopard coverage has been spotty.

  8. Hey! Where did you guys find my baby picture? How did you know I ate my brother?

    : D

  9. Ahhhhhhhhhh. That hits the spot.

  10. *-* veeeeeeeeeeery cute (:

  11. That second photo is amazing! I just want to smother my face in his belly! As long as he doesn’t scratch too hard. 🙂

  12. cafegrrl says:


  13. does anyone know why they’re being hand fed, not raised by mama?

  14. Natalie says:

    @ceejoe, I saw on an unrelated big-cat show that they take them away from mama and hand-feed them in order for the kittens to form a bond with the handlers, so the kittens don’t eat the handlers as they grow up. Kinda sad in my opinion, but I guess necessary if they are going to remain in captivity.

  15. domanato says:

    rawrrrr…..those baby pictures should auction for more than all those celebrities’ baby pics…

  16. I bet the baby otter would adjust his attitude if he knew there were leopards over his head.

  17. My, what big feet you have… And such pretty spots, too.

  18. Jimbeaux says:

    @Natalie – When I was a young ‘un, I spent some time at a zoo veterinary hospital. At one point we had leopard cubs, and yeah, they do try to acclimate them to human handlers. I will say, however, that it is done in view of the mama (or at least, was when I was there. Mama kept very close eye on us and her li’l ones.)

  19. skippymom says:

    I could never work with these guys–I would be constantly stuffing their paws into my mouth.

  20. I can see why they keep these animals in cages. Otherwise they’d keep ending up with missing leopards!

  21. They`re the perfect discription of adorable, cute , cuddly and precious. I wouldn`t get tired of looking at them.

  22. sunnymum says:

    I almost fell outta my chair and squeed WAY out loud at work NOMTOM! OMG this is the one that keeled me ded. Thump.

    Nice nomming in the first pic by the way. 🙂

  23. The Smithsonian video said they hand-rear cubs because the moms don’t take very good care of them–now they’re up to a 95% survival rate. The handlers also try to reduce their aggression: apparently adult males will often kill females upon introduction, which would reduce breeding success.


  24. NTMTOM is cracking me up today. Thanks!!

  25. Okay . . . on the site there’s a shot of one of the lads playing with (what looks like) a plush version of himself. I almost died.

  26. I worked with someone who was a volunteer foster mother for leopold cubs born at the zoo in St. Paul, MN, and the main reason they are handfed is that their mothers do not usually do a good job of mothering. Survival rate is dramatically increased when they are removed from their mothers.

  27. sososo cute 🙂

  28. fly'n bye says:

    Anerable little kityans. Hovertext GRRRRRRREAT!!!!

  29. I’m so glad you guys picked this up, that first picture made my week when I saw it

  30. First pic: *chomp* *chomp*
    Second pic: *shlurrrrrp*

  31. Noelegy says:

    Oh, the paws, the PAWS!!!

  32. I’m surprised no one has commented on the leopard’s beautiful blue/gray eyes in the second pic.

  33. danielie says:

    These animals are just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  34. Calliope says:

    Squeeeeee–THUD. These leetle cubs still kill me. Glad to see this on CO (I’m sure I was one of many who sent the link)!

    Don’t tell the babies, but they may also be kept separate from mama because she, ahem, might also think they are delicious — a little TOO delicious.

  35. Teresa says:

    😀 AWW 😀 Those leopard cubs are cute 😀 I hope some day that leopards will be able to live in the wild without humans encroaching on their habitats 😀

  36. kibblenibble says:

    Beeyooteefull! ♥

  37. tavella says:

    Cloud leopards often don’t survive in captivity when parent-raised. In particular, the parents often kill the kittens. Given how rare they are, they are therefore all hand raised — no one can take the risk.

  38. So, so, so stinking cute! I am in LOVE! I just added bottle feeding clouded snow leopards to my bucket list after seeing the video on the Smithsonian website!

  39. Yeay! I work at the Smithsonian and our Zoo is bursting with babies right now! The clouded leopards program (like all of the animal conservation programs) is really doing some important work to help the species survive. And seriously, how much fun would it be to be a clouded leopard nanny?!? Hmmm. Must request a job reassignment…

  40. *sigh* Their handlers are so lucky!

  41. Hon Glad says:

    Beautious boys, I’d like to volunteer for burping and bottom wiping duties
    (I’m not proud).
    Sadly someone wants to wear them as a coat, how ineffably stupid. (le sigh)

  42. Katrina says:

    I bet those are some pretty loud purrs! And those huge paws! That is some biscuit making capacity!!

  43. bookmonstercats says:

    Sqeee, thud, etc.

    I would love to have a coat like that, but only in a God-given way. How gorgeous. What a great job the Smithsonian is doing.

  44. I know they’re spotted, but I’m still calling tiny tabbies on this one.

  45. Squee-worthy without a doubt! Beautiful guys, I just want to hug them but don’t want to be desset, appetizer, etc.

  46. FUZZIES!!!

    Too. . much. . cuteness. .

    Going. . into. . cuteness overload. .

    [passes out . .]

  47. Domanato, I second that. Can I get a hellyeah?
    Theresa, I glare & grumble viciously when I see a fur wearing human. “But it’s(like it had no meaning)so warm. Evil beings.

  48. Forgot those darned end quotes again. Oopsie…

  49. Yitzysmommie says:

    Oh, they are so beautiful…and the PAWS!! I want to play with a small one 🙂

  50. Oh my. I don’t think they could be any cuter. It is almost unbearable!

  51. SOO CUTE! I want one!

  52. One of the world’s rarest felines, Neofelis nebulosa – congratulations on the success! (And almost as cute as us snow leopards!)