Zoo Miami takes extra precautions to protect clouded leopard cubs from virus
MIAMI, FLORIDA - Two clouded leopard cubs were welcomed into the world at Zoo Miami earlier this year, but now their veterinarians are taking extra precautions to make sure the young brother and sister are protected from COVID-19.
Clouded leopards, a highly endangered species, are among the list of animals that scientists say are vulnerable to catching coronavirus.
According to BBC News, the cubs were born back in February, but have since been secluded in their den to allow time to bond with their mother.
Concerns mounted last month, when a tiger at The Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for coronavirus.
There have been isolated instances of pets testing positive for the coronavirus elsewhere in the world, but experts have stressed there is no evidence they can become sick or spread the disease.
Even so, the Miami zoo says staff are wearing gloves and masks and disinfecting their shoes when they handle the leopard cubs.
During their examination and vaccinations on Tuesday, the newborns were confirmed by zookeepers to be "developing well".
"Both offspring appear to be thriving and the mother continues to be attentive and nursing them on a regular basis," Zoo Miami said in a statement.
Clouded leopards are a secretive cat native to forests in southern China, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Adults usually weigh between 30 to 50lbs.
They are highly-endangered throughout their natural habitat due to over-hunting.
Zoo Miami is currently closed due to shelter-at-home orders, but said in their statement that when the pandemic is finally over, they hope that guests will come visit the clouded leopards in person.
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