Clouded leopards hold a special place in our hearts here at Tanganyika. In fact, among all of our extremely successful breeding programs, our clouded leopard breeding program tops the list. We are dedicated to contributing to the preservation of this species. So, International Clouded Leopard Day is certainly a day to be celebrated!
Let's take a quick dive into Tanganyika's history with these amazing cats.
1984- Our park director, Jim, got his first clouded leopard; a female named Suzie.
1988- Jim got his first male clouded leopard, Neko.
2006- The first clouded leopard baby was born at Tanganyika to Bubba (dad) and Ooga (mom).
Fast forward to today, we have had at least 84 clouded leopards born at Tanganyika.
With this many clouded leopard births, Tanganyika is among the top breeding collections of clouded leopards in the world. Clouded leopards are difficult to breed in captivity due to male agression but we have been able to reduce this danger by encouraging the cats to form "pair bonds" at a young age.
We currently have 21 clouded leopards at the park. Three of them (Moana, Aurora and Belle) can be seen on exhibit near the binturongs. If you've been out to the park this season, you have likely seen several of our adorable clouded leopard babies! We still have babies in the nursery pen which are not yet named. The rest of the collection is housed in a back area not on exhibit to the public.
Check out the CUTEST captured clouded leopard yawn featuring one of this season's babies.
Clouded Leopard Facts:
- The clouded leopard gets its name from the large, cloud-like spots that cover its body. These spots provide excellent camouflage in their forest habitats.
- Clouded leopard's historic range extended through much of Southeast Asia. Today, their range is restricted to parts of India, Southern China, Burma, Indochina to Sumatra, and Borneo.
- Clouded leopards spend a significant portion of their time in trees, so they have many adaptations to deal with a semi-arboreal lifestyle.
- Due to their secretive nature, little is known about clouded leopard's lifespan in the wild. However, they have been knows to live up to 17 years in captivity.
- Relative to body size, the clouded leopard has the largest canine teeth of any living cats.
- Clouded leopard's conservation status is listed as vulnerable.
- Deforestation and poaching for their teeth and skins are the main threats to clouded leopards in the wild.
International Clouded Leopard Day is a day of international awareness and an attempt to increase the profile of Clouded leopards both in captivity and in the wild. Celebrated each year on August 4, The Aspinall Foundation held the first ever Clouded Leopard Day on 4th August 2018 at Howlett’s Wild Animal Park, Kent, in the United Kingdom.
For more information about International Clouded Leopard Day, visit the following link: https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/icld/