SANDSTONE, Minn. - A rare endangered big cat native to southeast Asia will spend her retirement inMinnesota.

Scarlet, a 12-year-old clouded leopard, is the newest resident of The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) in Sandstone. She was recently retired from a zoological organization, and TWS welcomed Scarlet to make the sanctuary her forever home.

"What makes this rescue so special is how rare her breed is in the wild and in captive breeding programs," saidTWS Director Tammy Thies in a written statement. "We are honored to provide Scarlet with the retirement home she deserves."

The smallest of the big cats, clouded leopards live throughout the forests of Southeast Asia. They are secretive and rare in the wild, preferring to remain alone and hidden from view. They are the best climbers of the cat family and have the longest canines and tail comparatively to body size.

TWS saysas of 2011, there were 69 clouded leopards living in 24 institutions participating in the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program.

"We realize what a privilege it is to have a clouded leopard in our care," Thies said. "We are currently giving her some privacy to settle in and get to know her new home. This Thanksgiving we are thankful we can give such an amazing cat a forever home where she can relax and live out her retirement."

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