Two seven-month-old male clouded leopard cubs handraised after being confiscated by wildlife officials from a village in India were transferred to a forest site in Assam where they will undergo a transition to life in the wild. This is the first attempt to return hand-reared clouded leopards to the wild in India. Their familiarity with people and lack of experience as hunters make the outcome of the release uncertain but officials are determined to give the cubs a chance at life in the wild.
The cubs will continue to be cared for by their keeper at the release site, going for walks in the forest to acclimate them and grant them increasing independence. This "soft" release may take many months as the cubs mature. We will be following the project closely and wish them success.