Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Camera Trap Photos Posted From Sabangau Project
Dr. Susan Cheyne has posted some new photos from her camera trapping project in the Sabangau Peat Forest in Indonesian Borneo, including clouded leopards and a flat-headed cat.

I can never get enough of these - a glimpse into the wild wanderings of some pretty cool creatures!
Clouded Leopard Feeding Video from the Danum Valley
Wow, what a lucky sighting for some herpetologists studying at the Danum Valley Field Center in Sabah, Borneo. They observed AND filmed a clouded leopard eating a mouse deer. Here's the report in the words of Jennifer, from her blog:
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

Clouded Leopard Rescued From Under an Indian Ranger's Bed
The Wildlife Trust of India reports that a sub-adult male clouded leopard was found underneath a bed in the house of a ranger in Assam, India. The ranger reported hearing a sound under his bed and found the cat crouching underneath. Wildlife vets were contacted who anesthetized the cat and later released it in the adjoining wildlife reserve. The rescue team reports that they have previously rescued a leopard and a tiger from other houses within settlements.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We Love Michael!

Back in March I posted about a wonderful young man, Michael, who came to visit the zoo to see our clouded leopards. Michael was crazy about cloudies and I'm thrilled to say he is still their number one fan! Check this out - for Halloween Michael was a clouded leopard researcher! Now that has to be a first :-) Michael also made a brochure about clouded leopards that he handed out while in his garb. Michael's mom Dana sent us a copy of an article he wrote for his local paper about his visit to the zoo. I hope you enjoy it and enjoy knowing clouded leopards have such an awesome friend in Illinois!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thailand Clouded Leopard Breeding Program Job Announcement
Long term Clouded Leopard Breeding Program Manager Rick Pasarro will be leaving his position at Thailand's Khao Kheow Open Zoo in early 2011. Rick has worked long and hard to ensure the success of this innovative program and has decided to take a much deserved break from the program. This is an amazing opportunity for a wildlife professional who would like a novel work experience requiring incredible dedication and sense of adventure!

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;
Application deadline-December 15, 2010
Start date no later than 1 April 2011.