Six Clouded Leopard Cubs Born At Panther Ridge

Panther Ridge has welcomed six adorable clouded leopard cubs over the past two months, including Pearl, shown here.

Clouded leopards are endangered, and there’s no pretty way to paint the picture.

With less than 3,500 to 5,000 in the wild, and maybe 200 under human care, Animal Curator Sadie Ryan at the Panther Ridge Conservation Center in Loxahatchee Groves said their numbers have been dwindling at an alarming rate.

That’s why it’s so exciting that on Jan. 24, clouded leopards Lura and Taj had two healthy babies: Bruce and Pearl.

Then, nine days later on Feb. 2, Malee and Taj welcomed four healthy cubs into the world: Ripley, Ariel, Squirt and Finnegan.

“Clouded leopards generally give birth to one or two,” Ryan said. “In this case, the litter of four is incredibly rare, and it’s amazing that they all survived. You normally never see a litter of four clouded leopards, which is amazing.”

While Panther Ridge is their home right now, the cubs are destined to end up elsewhere.

“We are doing our part to help the Species Survival Plan Program and save them from extinction,” she said. “All six of these cats will be going to new homes to spread the genetics.”

Right now, the cubs are weaning off their bottles and are starting to eat solid food. They start with ground turkey. They’re also learning how to drink water.

For the last few months, Ryan has been bottle feeding them every three hours, one at a time. The females will grow to be 30 to 40 pounds, and the males will be 60 to 70 pounds. There are four males and two females.

As they grow up, they will get bigger, but remain looking nearly the same, keeping their cloud-like spots. Their blue eyes will change color as they grow up.

Currently, the clouded leopard cubs are cuddled together, exploring their surroundings, learning quickly and gaining strength. They play with one another, interact with toys, and make little noises to communicate.

They’re not the first pairs of cubs to be born at Panther Ridge. Over the years, there have been 22 clouded leopard cubs, including Peach, who is just a year old.

The cubs have had different generations of parents and are not just from Malee or Lura and Taj.

“We’re trying to do our part to conserve the species,” Ryan explained.

These cubs have been sent to facilities as far away as Washington to help diversify the gene pool and try to help save the clouded leopards from becoming something that only exists in books and photographs.

Though the newest clouded leopard cubs are not part of the many tours offered at Panther Ridge, their parents are, along with caracals, cheetahs, cougars, jaguars, leopards, ocelots, servals, fishing cats and lynx.

They can all be seen Saturday, March 23 during the last Twilight Hours tour of the season. Other tours, which need to be booked in advance, include guided tours, head keeper tours, big cat experiences, small cat experiences and a walking tour with a cheetah.

To see photos and videos of the cats at Panther Ridge, find the local nonprofit on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

The Panther Ridge Conservation Center is located at 2143 D Road in Loxahatchee Groves. To schedule a tour, or learn more about the cats, call (561) 795-8914 or visit