On their one-month birthday Friday, four clouded leopard cubs at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium were gifted names.
Zookeepers named the three boys and one girl Banyan, Kapok, Teak and Orchid after plants in the cubs’ native Southeast Asia.
The quadruplets were born May 12 to mother Chai Li and father Nah Fun. There are now 11 clouded leopards at Point Defiance.
The cubs continue to grow, now weighing about 2 ½ pounds each. Their canines are starting to poke through and their steel-blue eyes opened weeks ago.
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Zookeepers are still bottle-feeding the cats with a milk formula mixed with a little baby cereal and rice.
Andy Goldfarb, a staff biologist who has worked with exotic cats for more than three decades, said the cubs are starting to demonstrate their personalities.
Orchid gets so excited for food that she squeaks and constantly moves her tiny paws in an attempt to grab her bottle.
It has not been decided yet which names will go to which of the three male clouded leopards. Zookeepers are waiting to get to know them better.
One of them is described as “pretty mellow” and another was born the smallest but is now the biggest. The third male is also impatient at feeding time.
Visitors can see the quadruplets during feeding times at the Cub Den.
There are less than 100 of the endangered cats in 25 North American zoos and it’s unknown how many remain in the wild because they’re so elusive.
Fifteen cubs have been born this year through the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan.
It’s unknown how many, if any, of the quadruplets will remain in Tacoma.