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ENDANGERED CLOUDED LEOPARD UNDERGOES COMPREHENSIVE EXAM

“Serai,” an 11 year old female endangered clouded leopard, underwent a series of exams in an effort to diagnose what may be causing ongoing issues with vomiting.  Those exams included an ultrasound and an endoscopy where several biopsies were taken from the oral cavity, stomach and small intestine.  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.

The endoscopy and ultrasound exams were directed by Dr. Luis Macho, a veterinary internal medicine specialist from Advanced Veterinary Care Service.  The Zoo Miami Animal Health Team was led by Zoo Miami Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Gaby Flacke.  Though we are waiting for the results from the biopsies and other tests that were performed, initial indications are that Serai’s vomiting issues may be the result of a food allergy which is fairly common 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.

In addition to the endoscopy and ultrasound exams, Serai also had a series of x-rays done, blood collected, a COVID test and a general wellness exam that included eyes, ears and teeth.  Other than the inflammatory tissue seen in her mouth and throat, she is in generally good condition. 

Clouded Leopards are a very secretive cat found in forests within 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.  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.  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.

Photo by: Ron Magill

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