This beautiful wild cat, takes its name from the cloud-like formations on its coat. The Clouded Leopard is seldom seen in the wild, and its habits remain mysterious. The wild cat is unique to South and Southeast Asia. The species range spans the rain forests of Indonesia to the east to the foothills of the Nepali Himalayas in the north. While there are no accurate estimates of Clouded Leopard populations, the most recent IUCN Red List assessment categorises thema as Vulnerable.
Most cats are good climbers, but the Clouded Leopard is near the top of its class. These big cats can even hang upside down from branches, using their large paws and sharp claws to secure a good grip. Clouded Leopards have short, powerful legs equipped with rotating rear ankles that allow them to safely climb down trees – head first. Their characteristic long tails help to maintain balance.
While Clouded Leopards are great climbers, scientists believe that they do most of their hunting on the ground. Their prey includes deer, wild boar, primates and small mammals like squirrels. Fun fact: Clouded Leapards have the largest canine teeth (proportionate to body size) of any wild cat.