A clouded leopard reportedly escaped from Dallas Zoo on Friday, which has resulted in authorities closing the establishment as they search for the cat.

The small cat weighs about 20-25 pounds (9-11 kilograms), said Harrison Edell, executive vice president of animal care and conservation at the Dallas Zoo. The search inside Texas’ largest zoo was focused on scouring trees, which Edell said clouded leopards like to climb.

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The zoo announced the same via a tweet that read, “We have an ongoing situation at the Zoo right now with a Code Blue – that is a non-dangerous animal that is out of its habitat. One of our clouded leopards was not in its habitat when the team arrived this morning and is unaccounted for at this time.”

The zoo further added, “Dallas PD is onsite assisting with the search efforts. The Zoo is closed today as our teams work to find and recover the animal. Given the nature of these animals, we believe the animal is still on grounds and hiding. We will share updates and more information as soon as we can.”

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Authorities believe the animal is still hiding within the grounds of the establishment.

Animals have escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo before. Most notably was in 2004, when a 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage that injured three people before police shot and killed the animal.

What is a clouded leopard?

One of the many types of wild cats, clouded leopards usually live at the foothills of the Himalayas, in China, and the mainland of South-East Asia.

These animals are usually 68.6 to 108 cm in length and have a tail as long as  61 to 91 cm. They have dark grey fur on which there are blotches of black or grey.

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Clouded leopards are considered the best climbers among all cat species. Due to their strong jaws and long canines, these animals often kill and eat prey that are considerably larger than them. 

These leopards have been found eating prey like the Malayan pangolin, barking deer, and bearcats.

Although not an endangered species, clouded leopards come under the classification of “vulnerable” cats.