Saving Clouded Leopards

ABC News' Dan Harris reports on an endangered species of leopard in Asia.
2:29 | 01/27/12

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Transcript for Saving Clouded Leopards
They are so beautiful and so charming it's killing them. Clouded leopards are native to the treetops of southeast Asia but somewhere along the way they began to mixed with humans. They became desirable pets and even more desirable pray. Tonight ABC's Dan Harris crawls into their -- for our series. Into the while. They look pretty friendly making little meow was in her seemingly whining for attention. But this is the view from safely outside -- -- Story requires that I go in the -- last moments with my all my digits and -- These are clouded leopards. Okay. Against sister's name -- and button only a few months old when you -- But at first they're not particularly interested in meet up -- -- but then there. I hit like -- polio at. And they'll be afraid this Rodham I mean lightly but you can they paid they should know the word no. -- -- next target our camera. That's a close up. Since these girls seem very playful and nice it really hold -- like -- -- the baby I decide to actually pick one up. How -- unity how hopeful -- He's period. Clouded leopard bite marks that that won't bite marks love. -- -- OK so maybe I -- is -- a little -- -- congeniality along with their cuteness is a big part of the reason clouded leopards are now in danger in the wild although again -- a friend. When they're raised by humans at bell and -- has been there almost like house cats which means many people want them as pets. Peck on the -- -- Another threat. People who hunt and kill these animals to sell their coats -- fancy clothing or their bones for traditional Chinese medicine. Conservationists say these days they're seeing more clouded leopards in illegal animal markets in Asia and they are tigers. You're gonna see more clouded leopard -- now than you do the tigers and stuff because basically they've killed all the tigers facility gone down to the next largest cat species -- Content leopards have -- so in the wild as the bulls these problems then than and other. -- Ken Lange or in this Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC who has spent in this year's I'm reading these animals. Breeding them in captivity he says is a sort of life insurance program for the species in case they go extinct in the wild. Right now we're at a breeding center in Brazil in Thailand where they've got dozens of cloudy says they're known. As you may have noticed -- and button had really warmed up. That's what I get for -- new. -- -- the largest -- of any of the canceled their bodies its good to know. As they have -- -- -- human like another little fact -- I think -- -- interview with the Clinton -- amendment with a particular kind of like Oakland Bragman but I'm and so long. I can -- -- -- love with the species and even -- this for decades with -- one species. Well you know the people who work -- them. That -- pretty much for the most part become very fanatical about the species. After an hour in a cage -- bell and button I can fully understand why. For Nightline this is Dan Harris at the -- you -- zoo in Thailand.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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