PHOTOS: Zoo Miami vets take look inside endangered clouded leopard

Big cat goes on operating table for endoscopy, ultrasound

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Zoo Miami

“Serai,” an 11-year-old female endangered clouded leopard, underwent a series of exams by Zoo Miami veterinarians trying to diagnose what may be causing ongoing vomiting issues.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Veterinarians at Zoo Miami took a close look inside one of the park’s endangered clouded leopards as they tried to get to the bottom of ongoing vomiting issues.

11-year-old “Serai,” a female clouded leopard, underwent a series of exams, including an ultrasound and an endoscopy, where “several biopsies were taken from the oral cavity, stomach and small intestine,” according to the zoo.

“During these exams, the Animal Health Team was able to get a closer look at inflammatory tissue that is likely connected to the vomiting issues,” Zoo Miami spokesperson Ron Magill said in a news release.

Magill said the team is waiting for results, but they suspect the vomiting issues may stem from a food allergy, a common issue in cats.

“The Animal Health and Animal Science teams will work together to see if they can pinpoint which item(s) Serai may be allergic to and adjust her diet accordingly,” Magill said.

Zoo staff took the time to give Serai a full workup, giving her a general wellness exam, as well as performing X-rays, a blood draw and a COVID-19 test.

Clouded leopards are considered to be the smallest of the big cats, according to the Clouded Leopard Project.

According to the zoo, the cats are “very secretive” and live in forests in Southern China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

“Adults usually weigh between 30 and 50 pounds and they have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws to facilitate their frequent arboreal lifestyle,” Magill said. “Their diet includes a variety of birds and mammals including monkeys, deer, and porcupines.”

Clouded leopards have the longest canine teeth relative to their size of any wild cat, Magill said.

“They are highly endangered over most of their range due to hunting for their attractive pelts which have ceremonial value in a variety of cultures,” he said.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.