TACOMA — Two endangered clouded leopard cubs born at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium died within 48 hours of their birth after being neglected by their mother over the weekend, Q13FOX News learned.
The cubs, a male and female, were born late Saturday, the zoo said. Both were extremely fragile and weighed less than 7 ounces. Their mother, 7-year-old Jao Ying, neglected them after they were born.
Veterinarians cared for the cubs around the clock, but they died within hours of each other Monday.
Necropsies did not reveal the causes of death, but both cubs were exceptionally small, a zoo veterinarian said. The deaths were hard on zoo staff, particular because they have been trying to get adult cats Jao Ying and 4-year-old Chee Wit to breed for years.
Five clouded leopard cubs have been born and raised at the zoo since 2011.
Clouded leopards are native to Southeast Asia and endangered.