Thursday, December 23, 2010
I'll post some photos and video from my trip when I return Jan. 1, so stay tuned.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
It's been a very long time coming, but we are thrilled that ground has finally broken for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's new clouded leopard exhibit! This exhibit will provide everything we need to provide a comfortable home for our clouded leopards and great viewing and educational opportunities for our guests. We have designed the exhibit to give the cats lots of height for climbing, glass and mesh viewing, and a special viewing area for when we have young cubs. I'm working with our interpretive team to design the accompanying graphics and other opportunities to teach guests about clouded leopards and their conservation issues. We hope to incorporate some fun technology components too. I'll keep you posted as construction progresses!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saving Clouded Leopards: Conservation Through Science
When: 6:30 p.m., December 8
Where: National Zoo Visitor Center Auditorium
Cost: $10 for FONZ members, $15 for nonmembers
Join preeminent National Zoo scientists, animal keepers, and FONZ volunteers for an evening dedicated to the conservation of clouded leopards. Hosted by the Zoo scientist Budhan Pukazhenthi, the event will begin with a special screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s Ghost Cat: Saving the Clouded Leopard, which follows a small cadre of scientists, activists, and veterinarians determined to help stave off extinction of the clouded leopard.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Budhan Pukazhenthi. Panelists include Ken Lang, supervisory biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Jilian Fazio, Ph.D. candidate and long-time clouded leopard keeper; and Rebecca Hobbs, post-doctoral fellow. Together, the panel represents a wealth of knowledge and experience working with clouded leopards in the wild in and captivity.
The evening concludes with the opportunity to mingle with Zoo scientists and animal keepers during a cocktail hour, bid on one-of-a-kind items at our silent auction, or do some holiday shopping at a clouded leopard table or in the Asia Trail gift shop.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I can never get enough of these - a glimpse into the wild wanderings of some pretty cool creatures!
They got video too, so be sure to check out her post!
"About an hour into the survey, James called over to me “Jen, do you want to see a clouded leopard?” I thought for SURE he was kidding, but I went over to see what he was looking at anyways, trying not to get too excited. When he pointed to where he was looking, I was trying to get my eyes to see a speck of something far away, maybe a pinprick of eyeshine, or a glimpse of a cat, but instead, about 25 feet in front of me I saw an enormous grey cat with dark markings chowing down on a mouse deer (a tiny deer about the size of a medium-sized dog). I literally had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from making too much noise. I was stunned, and couldn’t believe that I was seeing this gorgeous cat at such close range. And to make it even more interesting, there was a second clouded leopard a few feet away from the first, feasting on its own mouse deer!"
"I can’t express enough how rare it is to see this—nearly nothing is known of clouded leopard behavior or ecology, and here were four herpetologists seeing TWO cats together. As near as we can tell, it was likely a mother and nearly full grown cub. We continued watching them for almost an hour, and they were perfectly happy to just eat their meal, keeping their eyes on us the whole time (see the short video above by Rachel). They switched places once or twice, and after they seemed to have finished, they walked around a bit and then lay down—with one of them momentarily rolling onto its back and batting at an overhanging vine! It was absolutely surreal to witness, and amazing to think that moments before we saw it, this huge predator had been hunting not more than 50 meters from where we were. After we returned to our survey, I was literally saying “could this night possibly get any better?!” when overhead we saw huge flying foxes silhouetted against the nearly full moon! Unbelievable. It truly was one of the greatest days of my life, and makes me think that Danum is one of the best wildlife spots left on the planet."
I second that! - Karen
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT – Manager for Clouded Leopard Breeding Program Project Manager
The Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium seeks a full-time, hands-on manager to oversee all aspects of a captive breeding and research project for ~40 clouded leopards and fishing cats at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand. Duties include but are not limited to: daily care of animal collection, introduction of animals for breeding, hand-rearing cubs, animal transports, facilities and equipment maintenance and improvements, supervision and training of local staff, public relations budget oversight and serve as a liaison to the Thailand Zoological Park Organization. Superior candidates will have previous project management experience in a similar situation.
CORE REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of a BA/BS in Zoology/Biology (or related field) and experience working with exotic cats. Excellent command of English. Excellent physical condition, ability to work in a tropical environment.
HELPFUL: Excellent problem solving skills, good common sense, attention to detail, infinite patience and a good sense of humor.
PREFERRED: Handraising skills as well as the ability to work in and adapt quickly to foreign languages and environments. Salary $20,000/yr. On-site, 2-bedroom housing, food, project vehicle for local transport, roundtrip airfare annually for one month paid vacation and most in-country project expenses provided. Please send a cover letter detailing how your skills and abilities fit the position, a resume and 3 references to Karen Goodrowe; email@example.com
Application deadline-December 15, 2010
Start date no later than 1 April 2011.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Hey Guys! It’s me Andy and I know it has been a long time. I’m actually here in the States. You usually only hear from me when I’m working in Thailand, and even then it’s infrequently that I write. I know I’m a lame-o when it comes to that. I’ve been ask to give an update about everything that’s been happening with the breeding program over in Thailand and here at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
I’ll start where I left off. The reason that I disappeared from the blog after the holidays was because a cat at the breeding center was seriously injured by another cat. Her name is Lom Choy and she tried to pick a fight with another cat through the fence one night. I’ll never forget walking into the building that morning. Normally, Lom Choy is always up running back and forth in anticipation of breakfast. This time she wasn’t and it caught my attention right away. I went in to see her and she was laying down very still. Her front left leg had been chewed up severely. My heart just sank, I felt sick to my stomach as I grabbed her and took her to the hospital. This was just 2 weeks before I was to leave Th
ailand and she was a cub that was to be coming to America. That last two weeks was all about saving this cat’s leg. She was a real trooper and put up with a tremendous amount of treatment and pain. She had to live at the hospital in a small cage. I would spend the night with her in the cage to keep her from ripping off her bandages. I also had help from friends from Australia. I had them sleep with her as well.
Six days before I left we had a litter of two cubs born. We had decided that the mother would raise these cubs which was good for me cause I was so busy with Lom Choy and let me tell you I was freaking out! Lom Choy was doing well but her wounds were intense and she had some infection. I was like a crazed father driving the vets nuts
, but that’s me. The new cubs were doing great with their mom and she was fine with us coming in checking on them.
Well on my last day early in the morning up at the building there was a huge roar. You may not know this and even those of us that work with clouded leopards don’t ever hear it but they can belt it out. It sounds like that classic cougar sound in some movies but with an extreme guttural sound that is shocking the first time you hear it. This had only been my second time hearing it in the 8 years that I’ve worked with cloudeds. One staff member and I ran outside to see what happened. All of the younger cats were freaking out over a bunch of monkeys that were climbing all over the enclosures.
I went to check on the new cubs but their mother was insanely aggressive to me so I had to back off and wait a while before checking again. When I got my chance to look in on the little guys I found that they had been injured by their mother most likely during the monkey strike. She had bitten into their tails. I had to take them to the hospital. Remember this is my last day and Rick the full time manager is on his way to Thailand and we aren’t going to cross paths. So he was coming back to one leopard fighting to keep her leg and two cubs that most likely were going to lose their tails. Needless to say I didn’t sleep that night for my 4:00 am departure from the land of a thousand smiles. I wasn’t smiling at all.
I did return to Thailand about a month later to pick up three clouded leopards for our zoo and one very special one for the Nashville, Tennessee Zoo - Lom Choy! Lom Choy looked great when I got there. She had some scarring but she had her leg and no permanent damage and that was the greatest thing to see. The two young girls did lose a fair bit of their tails but they were happy healthy cubs and that’s all that mattered.
Ok, that’s part one of the story... I’ll write the rest soon.... I promise.....really I will!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I thought I'd post a terrific video from the archives. Here are some of the wonderful results of the Thailand clouded leopard breeding program. I dare you not to smile!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It's hard to believe, but we now have a total of six clouded leopards at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium now! Four of these cats have arrived within the last six months. Three of them - imported from Thailand - were profiled here previously. Two, Chai Lai and Nah Fun, came to us already paired and continue to have strong bonds with one another. The third is Jao Ying, a three year old female. Now Jao Ying has been joined by young Cheewit, a six month old cub born at Smithsonian's National Zoo. They have already been introduced and are getting along so well that they now spend the entire day together. This is a great sign that they are on their way to becoming a bonded pair that will breed in the future. (Cheewit won't be old enough until he is about two.)
When Cheewit isn't hanging out with Jao Ying, he visits the animal exercise yard at Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater for playtime with zoo staff members. Because he was hand-raised, Cheewit is very well socialized and has a great time showing off his wicked good climbing skills for zoo guests. We'll get some video posted of him soon!
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is turning out to be the year for clouded leopard cubs! The most recent litter was born in Paris' Jardin des Plantes Zoo. More photos can be seen here.
Let's keep those babies coming!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In an effort to deter the poaching of Malaysia's rare and protected species, the law enacts a maximum fine of RM 100,000 (31,000 US dollars) and five years in jail for killing a female or young clouded leopard, Sumatran rhino, Malay tiger,or any protected wildlife. The maximum fine drops to RM 50,000 (15,500 US dollars) for male animals. In addition, for the first time setting snares, hunting, or keeping certain species captive—such as rhinos and tigers—comes with mandatory jail time.
Like all wildlife laws, its efficacy will depend on the commitment of wildlife and court officials for enforcement. Hopefully Malaysia will demonstrate strong leadership in this realm for other Southeast Asian countries to emulate to save the region's rapidly vanishing wildlife.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
This 30 page storybook is written in both Thai and English and is being distributed free of charge to students in Thailand. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the development of educational materials and programming for communities living near crucial clouded leopard habitat.
The book takes the reader on a journey into Thailand's rainforest with a wildlife researcher to uncover the mysterious ways of the clouded leopard. We follow him as he discovers the secret to protecting this amazing wild cat in its tropical home. The story is supported by the amazing illustrations of Heather Hudson, a Seattle artist. We are both very pleased with the result of our collaboration!
A Malay/English verion of the book is currently being published in Borneo for distribution there as well. We anticipate that additional versions will also be produced in the near future.
If you'd like a copy, just visit the CLP's online store to purchase. We really appreciate the support!
Monday, April 19, 2010
The following projects received funding:
Consequences of different forest management strategies for clouded leopards and other felids and viverrids in Sabah, Malaysia.
Ranging behavior, and demography of a little known solitary felid: An intensive, long-term camera-trap investigation of the Ulu Segama Sunda clouded leopard population (Malaysia).
The Clouded Leopards and Small Cats of Sumatra: Conflict Mitigation in the Face of a Quickly Rising Human Population.
Conservation Genetics of Threatened and Endangered Bornean Wild Cats in Sabah, Malaysia.
Status & Conservation Needs of the Sunda Clouded Leopard on Borneo.
Survey for Small Felid Species in Select Thailand Reserves and Evidence for Competitive Exclusion by Larger Felids.
Sabangau Felid Project, Borneo, Indonesia.
Wild Cats Education Week Festival, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Southeast Asia Wild Cat Education Initiative.
Community Outreach Support in Thailand’s Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The CLP received this very short video clip of a clouded leopard encountered by Mr. Sjarif, a graduate student of Gadjah Mada Univesiry, Indonesia. Sjarif made a camp near the rivermouth of Sungai Ibay on Sumatra. After constructing the camp, he took a rest and went to the river to bathe. While he was at the river he saw a clouded leopard approach, although he didn't know what it was at the time. Luckily, he had his camera with him and grabbed it to take two photos. However, he didn't realize the camera was set up to video mode, so instead of photos he got extremely short video clips. While it is great, it is also frustrating to have missed out on such an amazing photo and video opportunity!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
The end of a very long trip.