Their powerful legs and paws, sharp claws and flexible ankles allow the Clouded leopard to climb down head first as needed
Physical Characteristics Continued…
A Clouded leopard’s tail is approximately the length of it’s body from head to rear.
Clouded leopard’s canine teeth are proportionally the longest of any large cat.
Their teeth are the same size as those of a tiger even though the Clouded is much smaller
Their teeth suggest that they are the only cat living today with a direct lineage to the saber toothed cat.
Saber Toothed Cat Skull
Clouded leopards sleep high in the canopy
Although they sleep in the trees they spend most of their waking hour on the ground
These leopards are solitary animals, and very elusive
Their paws and claws are so strong that the leopards are known to climb upside down, and they can even hang upside down by only their back paws.
It was believed that these leopards were nocturnal, but recent studies show that they are active during both day and night
Although they do not purr they have a wide range of vocalizations
They are carnivores and hunt for prey which includes birds, gibbons, squirrels, monkeys, deer, porcupines, and wild boars.
They attack their larger prey by an ambush attack. They do this by hanging from a tree and dropping onto the prey where they will then suffocate it.
Due to their solitary nature there isn’t a known number of animals in the wild, but we do know there aren’t a lot and they are listed as endangered
Deforestation is the biggest threat to the leopards
Poaching is the second biggest threat to these leopards. They are hunted for their bones to be used in medicines, their meat, their cubs for the exotic pet trade, and for their pelts.
Many leopards are raised in captivity, in private sanctuaries, and in zoos
Clouded leopards are raised in captivity to help increase the populations
Some cubs are taken from their mothers for protection and are hand raised
Clouded leopards are considered “Big Cats” which means it is illegal to keep them as pets.
Licenses are available for people to raise big cats when they are properly trained, have an enclosure that meets specific requirements, and have qualified veterinary assistance.
Breeding in captivity is very rare
Clouded leopards reach breeding age at two years old
Their solitary nature causes them to attack other leopards they encounter, including possible mates, so breeding is not as common as we would like
Gestation is 85-93 days
Females give birth to litters of two to four cubs
Clouded leopards can give birth to one litter a year
Cubs are born blind and defenseless
The cubs spots are filled in when they are born and fade into the adult pattern around the age of six months
Cubs become independent at about 10 months
Clouded leopards are listed as endangered species
Only 7 leopards have ever been radio collared. They were in Thailand and Nepal
Trade of animals, their parts, or products made from their parts in prohibited in the United States
Hunting is banned in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam
Hunting regulations are in place in Lao
All of these are poorly enforced, and little is being done to help preserve these animals
Zoos in the US that have Clouded leopard exhibits
Little Rock Zoological Gardens
San Diego Zoo
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Central Florida Zoological Park
Chicago Zoological Park
Mesker Park Zoo
Alexandria Zoological Park
Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species
Minnesota Zoological Garden
Jackson Zoological Park
Omaha's Henry DoorlyZoo
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Philadelphia Zoological Garden
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquarium
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
The Houston Zoo
Ellen Trout Zoo
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquarium
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
References http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=giraffe&engine=flickr%20%207-13# searched “clouded leopard” pictures on slides 1,2,5,6,7,8,9,12,13,14 http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=giraffe&engine=flickr%20%207-13# searched “Southeast Asia forest” picture on slide 3 http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=giraffe&engine=flickr%20%207-13# searched “deforestation” picture on slide 9 http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=giraffe&engine=flickr%20%207-13# searched “Saber toothed cat” http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Clouded_Leopard picture on slide 4 Burnie, D., Wilson, D. (2001). The Smithsonian Institute. Animal, the definitive visual guide to the worlds wild life. U.S.: Dk publishing. Christiansen, Per. (2008) "Evolutionary changes in craniomandibular shape in the great cats (Neofelis Griffith and PantheraOken)." Biological Journal of theLinneanSociety, 95.4 766+ Clouded leopard project, 2003-2008. About the Clouded Leopard, retrieved February 13th2010, from http://www.cloudedleopard.org/default.aspx?link=about_main Clouded Leopards, retrieved February 13th 2010, from http://www.panda.org/ what_we_do/endangered_species/clouded_leopard/ Meiri, Shai, and Georgina M. Mace. (2007) "New taxonomy and the origin of species." PI o S Biology, 5.7 1385+