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Asian Gardens Animal Fact Sheet
Neofelis nebulosa

Southeastern Asia: Nepal to Indochina, Thailand, Indonesia, southern China, Sumatra, the Malayan Peninsula, and Borneo.

Currently four sub-species are recognized:

· Neofelis nebulosa brachyurus: Taiwan (thought to be extinct).
· Neofelis nebulosa diardi: Sumatra, Borneo, Java.
· Neofelis nebulosa macrosceloides: Nepal to Burma.
· Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa: southern China to eastern Burma.

Clouded leopards are not a "type" of leopard, but a separate species of wildcat. They are one of the best climbers in the cat family. They are able to climb upside down underneath tree branches. They are able to hang from branches with their hind feet. Short, stout legs are excellent for leverage and a low center of gravity for climbing. Large, spoon-shaped paws with sharp claws allow them to get a good grip on tree branches. Long tail is extremely important as a balance aid. Hind feet have flexible ankle joints allowing the foot to rotate greatly. This allows them to descend squirrel-like, head first from a tree.

Clouded leopards are elusive, solitary cats. Hence, most of what we know about their social behavior has come from observations in captivity. Clouded leopards have been frequently described as bridging the gap between large and small cats. DNA comparisons suggest that the clouded leopard is most closely related to the extinct saber-tooth cat of North America. Canine teeth are longer in proportion to body size than those of any other species of wildcat.

Habitat: Lowland tropical rain forests, dry woodlands, secondary forests, logged forests, grasslands, scrubs, and even foothills of the Himalayas at an elevation of up to 9,000 feet.
Diet: Carnivore: preys upon birds, squirrels, monkeys, small deer (muntjac), and wild pigs (babirusa).
Status: Vulnerable (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length of head and body: 2.5 to 3 feet
Length of tail: 3 feet
Height at shoulder: 10 TO 16 inches
Weight: Female: 25-35 pounds; Male: 35-50 pounds (medium sized cat)
Lifespan: n/a
Reproduction & Offspring: Clouded leopards are sexually mature around the age of two years. Mating can occur in any month, but in captivity, most breeding occurs between December and March. Gestation period is 93 days with 1 to 5 blind and helpless cubs produced per litter. Females can produce a litter every year. Cubs are independent at approximately 10 months of age. Mother and cubs stay together for about two years.


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