Oxfordshire: Most people try to keep their bathrooms spotless - but one family decided to use theirs to raise a leopard cub. Newly-born Nimbus was abandoned by her mother shortly after her birth at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire. Keeper Jamie Craig found her close to death along with another cub who sadly did not survive. He then decided to take her home and rear her by hand - using the family bathroom as her makeshift compound. His delighted children, Jai, 13, and Niemi, 10, helped with the care and Nimbus, now two months old - and the animal is well enough to return to the wildlife park.–DM

Mr Craig said: ‘We found her abandoned in the leopard exhibit with another cub, who unfortunately didn’t survive. ‘Once we warmed her up and gave her some food it was actually surprising how strong she was. ‘We decided the bathroom was the best place to bring her up because she could have free rein. ‘It’s also got a very easy floor to clean and obviously she had her own bed in there and everything. It just meant that we had to sacrifice our bathroom. ‘We’d quite often get out of the shower to a rather sharp surprise. The children also had their toes nibbled whilst they were using the toilet quite a lot.’ Mr Craig said they kept a constant eye on the cub, to monitor any changes in her health. ‘Now I’ve managed to limit it to every four hours from 6am to 10pm, you have to limit it really for their health and your own sanity. ‘The kids would get the odd scratch but in general she was very good with them and they were very good with her. ‘You have to be careful now though, you forget how big their teeth and claws become, she was starting to show her animal instincts.’ The leopard has now been returned to Cotswold Wildlife Park where she will gradually be introduced to other big cats. Mr Craig said that whilst it was sad to see her go, it was the right time for her to leave. He said: ‘It is a little bit sad to see her go but she left at the right time and now we can have our bathroom back. ‘  Clouded leopards are found in the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia and into China. In 2008, it was classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Its total population size is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals.