We're pleased to have the support of Kuching Herbal Tea, grown using traditional and sustainable methods in Malaysia. The variety of tea is called Misai Kuching by the locals, which means "the cat's whiskers." This name is derived from the stalk of the plant which has stems resembling cat whiskers. Because of this feature, the producers of the tea have adopted the clouded leopard as their marketing "mascot" and has licensed use of Clouded Leopard Project photos for use in their promotional materials. You can visit their website at www.kuchingherbal.com to learn more. Unfortunately they will only be marketing the product in the U.K., but we wish them success on their product's launch!
Great News...we have just transformed the Clouded Leopard Project shopping and donation experience by switching over to the Google Checkout system. That means that purchasing clouded leopard merchandise or making a donation to our conservation efforts is easier and more secure than ever. If you already have a Google account you are good to go. If not, it is super easy and only takes moments.
We've also added a new "Donate Now" feature to make donating a snap. Look for the link on the Home Page. We hope these changes will help generate even more support to ensure the survival of clouded leopards in the wild.
A huge thank you goes out to Karen, our web guru extraordinaire, whose insight and skill has once again served us well. We couldn't do any of this without him!
The Wildlife Protection Society of India issued the following report:
Five skins of endangered Clouded Leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) were seized by wildlife officials in February 2008 on the Indo- Bhutan border. The illegal haul comprised of skins of two adults, one sub-adult and two cubs. A resident of Jaigaon was arrested while on a bus to Siliguri, from where he intended to move into Nepal. According to senior forest department personnel, the accused is said to be one of the most wanted wildlife traders on the Indo-Bhutan border.
The Clouded Leopard's distribution in India is restricted to North West Bengal, Sikkim, and North East India where the population status is unknown, but it is said to be declining. The Clouded Leopard falls in Schedule1 of The Wildlife (Protection) Act. Trade in this species is strictly prohibited.
Many thanks to ecologist Chris Gordon for sharing his article, Use of Logging Roads by Clouded Leopards from (Cat News, 47) with us. This article details observations of clouded leopard tracks along logging roads in East Kalimantan, Borneo. The authors observed that clouded leopards appear to move onto and perhaps travel along these roads, even in heavily logged areas and areas with regular vehicle traffic. These observations provide important evidence that logging roads are not necessarily a barrier to clouded leopard movement.
I just received an update from Debbie at Flora and Fauna International that the rescued cub is doing very well. After de-worming and a transition to a good diet she is thriving. Debbie still hopes the cub can be released and will eventually be relocated to a forest cage further from people. Given the shy nature of clouded leopards, hopefully she won't form too strong of an attachment to people and can return to the forest when older.
What a milestone...today our Josie girl turned ten. It really does seem like such a short time ago that we received our little spitfire as an 8-week-old cub from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. I have been so lucky to have had Josie in my life for so long. She is an amazing cat, with such spunk and spirit! For her birthday treat today she got some goodies: a thawed chick, some vanilla ice cream (a favorite of all cats), and a yummy blood ice cube. Good stuff! The wonderful watercolor of Josie was painted by my friend Shannon when Josie was about two.
When Josie and Raja were cubs, their first birthday was cause for celebration. As they were growing up they were media darlings so the their birthday received lots of coverage. Here's Raja enjoying his elaborate meat, fish, and feather birthday cake.
Raja turned ten a few weeks before Josie (sorry for not acknowledging your big day, Raj.) At ten years, the cats are well into middle age. Most clouded leopards live until their mid-teens with some going to nearly twenty. Hopefully our pair will enjoy a long, active life with us at Point Defiance.
Being a hand-reared clouded leopard cub at a zoo affords you some fun experiences. When Raja and Josie were young we handled them every day, including taking them for walks all around the zoo. Here's a sampling:
As you would expect, tree-climbing was a favorite activity.
When young, they even enjoyed a swim every now and then.