Sun, Nov 12, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Rare Bornean clouded leopards caught on camera

Reuters, KUALA LUMPUR

A Bornean clouded leopard and her two cubs are pictured in the Deramakot Forest Reserve in Malaysia’s Sabah State on Monday.

Photo: Reuters

A Bornean clouded leopard and her two cubs were captured on camera strolling through a Malaysian forest reserve last week, a rare daytime sighting of the elusive animals in the wild.

Found only on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, the big cat species is estimated at 700 and lives in a habitat shrunk by poaching and deforestation.

“Seeing it in daytime is nearly unheard of, and never with its young,” said Michael Gordon, who filmed the animals cross a road and walk into bush in Deramakot in Malaysia’s Sabah State on Borneo, where camera traps first spotted the cats in 2010.

“The Sunda clouded leopard is difficult across most of its range, but the last three years I have been coming to Deramakot, I have seen it a quite a few times,” said the photographer, using an alternative name for the species.

The animal’s habitat has shrunk by one-tenth each year over the past two decades, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said, hit by poaching and deforestation for commercial purposes.

It feeds on monkeys, small deer, birds and lizards, and is the main predator on Borneo, an island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

In 2007, genetic studies showed the species to be distinct from its nearest relative, the clouded leopard, which was first described scientifically by British naturalist Edward Griffith in 1821, the WWF said.

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