As I was caring for Josie and Raja the other day, I started thinking about why I think they are such great cats. So here is my Letterman list of the reasons why clouded leopards rock:
10. Clouded leopards are GORGEOUS. Okay, so it's not supposed to be about looks, but come on...have you seen that fur, that tail?
9. No cat climbs like a cloudie. Reversible ankles allow them to climb down a tree headfirst. Try that, tiger!
8. They munch monkeys. Not that I have anything against monkeys, but the idea that a clouded leopard can stalk, catch, and kill a monkey in a treetop is pretty phenomenol.
7. They stay out of trouble. While many cat species are primed for persecution due to their habit of killing livestock and even people, cloudies (usually) keep a low profile.
6. Clouded leopards are charming. They may be shy, but if you get to know a clouded leopard you will be smitten. With their laid-back personalities, cool climbing skills, and that adorable pink nose - to know one is to love one!
5. Clouded leopards are loyal. Not in the obsequious canine way, but once you become part of a clouded leopard's circle of friends it will be true to you forever. Cloudies are famous for responding to keepers even after absences of many years. It isn't easy to earn their trust, but once you do it lasts a lifetime.
4. They chuff! Okay, tigers and snow leopards do too, but not with the same enthusiasm. Don't know what a chuff (official term: prusten) is? It's a cool sound made by the cat blowing air through its lips. It's a greeting, so if you receive a chuff...chuff back to say hi!
3.They make researchers work for a living. Cheetah or lion researchers can keep their cushy Land Rovers. To study clouded leopards, biologists spend years slogging through leech-filled forests with hopes of glimpsing only a track of their subject. You've got to admire an animal that can remain a mystery to science for so long!
2. They're not publicity hogs. Ask most kids what their favorite cat is and you'll hear all about cheetahs and tigers. Although it's cool to root for the underdog, this is precisely the reason for
the number one reason why clouded leopards are the coolest cats...
1. They need us. There are a lot of organizations working for other rare cats. We are the only ones focusing on clouded leopards. Let's work to save them while there is still time.
*The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) is now a programme of Borneo Nature Foundation.Please visit our new website and blog:* *http://www.borne...
9 months ago