For those of you who follow my work, I guess it comes as no surprise that I'm back to sharing with you my favourite animal of all: the Clouded Leopard. As far as animals go, Clouded Leopards have been my primary passion ever since I first saw a picture of one well over 20 years ago, and my privileged access to the 33 that are cared for at Khao Kheow Open Zoo here in Thailand is well beyond what my most hopeful dreams were back then.
Of course the ultimate dream I have is to one day find a way of observing one in its natural habitat and, perhaps needless to say, whatever amount of luck Mother Nature is benevolent enough to offer me in capturing a few compelling images! As irony would have it, apparently the best chances I have with this is to join up with illegal poachers, as sadly they seem to be far more experienced in finding this extremely elusive cat in the depths of Thailand's rainforests than anyone I've read about who has endeavoured to study them purely for research purposes.
An extra benefit in this would be having a chance at letting those utter bastards that hunt them know what I think of them and, who knows, perhaps show them the error of their ways …...... one way or another!
Though Clouded Leopards are classed in size somewhere between big cats and small cats, two remarkable features they have are, by ratio to their bodies, the longest canine teeth (sometimes easily equal to the much larger tiger), and one of the longest tails of all felines; I believe the Snow Leopard has the longest, but the Clouded Leopard wouldn't be too far behind.
By Mother Nature's design, the protracted length of the Clouded Leopard's tail provides it with the excellent balance it needs while running across branches of trees it seems to like to spend it's time in the most.
Thank you for sharing your time with me in reading all this if you have! Wishing you all an awesome weekend :^)