Clouded Leopard – Diet, Habitat, and facts

Clouded leopards are a member of the Felidae family and come under nebulosa species. They are included in the endangered species around the world because they face the threat of extinction. Clouded Leopard is a shy and elusive wildcat and can be spotted in the Tropical dense rainforest.

The Clouded leopards occurs from the great Himalayan foothills and are said to be newfound animals around the world. This species was officially recorded in the year 1821. Over 200 years their origin is still as mysterious as it’s behavior. They have a lifespan of around 13-17 years.

Physical attributes of clouded leopards

They got their name from the clouds like pattern on their whole body. Clouded leopards have a darker coat color which has smaller and darker cloud markings on them. The fur color includes yellow to brown, which makes them darker.

Clouded Leopard possesses some specific and unique physical qualities which makes them more special than any other wild cats. Clouded leopards can hang upside down from branches of trees by making use of their short limbs, broader paws, and sharp nails.

They have the longest tail among the cats, 65cm. They make use of their large tail for climbing up and, mainly, down the trees with ease and to balance themselves on branches. The tail is like steering for them.

Clouded Leopards have the biggest canine teeth among the medium and small wild cats, which can measure up to 4 cm. They have strong jaw muscles too.

  • Common Name:  Clouded leopards
  • Scientific name:  Neofelis nebulosa
  • Class:  Mammalia
  • Weight:  Up to 50 pounds
  • Life span: 13-17 years
  • Canines: 4.4 cm

What do they Eat?

Clouded leopards are carnivore animals. Deer, pig, monkeys and small animals like squirrels and small birds are their main prey. They will not go for a direct hunt, instead, they wait for their prey to approach them and they will make a meal out of it

After the meal, they will get back to their branch shelters to rest and for digestion purposes.

Clouded Leopard behavior

Their behavior is mysterious for even scientists, as clouded leopards stay away from human presence.

They are solitary animals. They are very secretive in nature and prefer to live alone in the dense forest.

They are highly talented in climbing trees both vertically and horizontally by making use of their strong claws and can even hang upside down and can climb down headfirst.

Where does Clouded Leopard live?

Their habitat also lies a bit mysterious as they travel through both rain forest and hard terrain equally and can hence think that they are adaptable to climate.

They were found at Dense forest covers and places with high rainfalls. They prefer more on Grasslands, Shrubs, and tropical Rainforests up to the height of 7000 ft.         

Clouded leopards are arboreal and nocturnal inhabitants.

They are commonly found tropical rain forests of Nepal, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, China. Southeast Asia is their main habitat.

Where to see them?

Clouded Leopards prefer to stay away from human presence, the best place to see them is in the Tropical rain forests. India you may be able to see them in the Tropical forests of North East.

Places to see them in India?

Clouded leopards National park of Tripura is India’s first dedicated wildlife park to spot Clouded leopards located inside Sipahijola wildlife sanctuary.

Apart from these places, Clouded Leopards can be seen in

  • Balphakram National Park, Meghalaya
  • Kanchanjunga National Park, Sikkim
  • Manas National Park, Assam
  • Phawngpui National Park, Mizoram
  • Dibrusaikhowa National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Buxa National Park, Westbengal

The best time to see them is during the dry season. Expect high humidity at that time.

Interesting facts about Clouded Leopard

Clouded Leopards are a nocturnal animal
Clouded Leopards can be found resting on a tree during day time
They are an excellent swimmer
They are difficult to spot in the dense forest.

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