Clouded leopards :
Clouded leopards belong to the Neofelis genus and have the scientific name of Neofelis nebulosa.
The average lifespan of a clouded leopard is 11 years in the wild. However, in cases of captivity, it may go upto 17 years.
A clouded leopard grows to a length of 60 to 110 cm (2 ft to 3 ft 6 in). Its weigh may be somewhere between 11 and 23 kg (25 lbs and 50 lbs). The coat of Indian leopards is tan in color and has large, erratically shaped, dark-edged ellipses marks on it. Since the shape of the ellipses resembles clouds, the animals have been given the name of 'Clouded Leopards'. Their build is huge and their canine teeth are the longest amongst all the cat species.
The short flexible legs of the Clouded leopard of India, along with its large paws and sharp claws, make it an excellent tree climber. Its tail is almost as long as its entire body, which serves as a further support in climbing. The cubs of clouded leopard do not have dark ellipse, rather their entire body is dark in color.
The clouded leopard is a carnivore and mainly survives on arboreal and terrestrial mammals, primarily consisting of gibbons, macaques and proboscis monkey. Its other prey includes small mammals, deer, birds, porcupines, and domestic livestock.
No Relation to Leopard
Clouded leopard has no close relation to leopard and comes under a separate genus, known as Neofelis.
Clouded leopards prefer to stay in tropical and subtropical forest of India, with an altitude of over 2,000 meters. One can also find the animal inhabiting Indian mangrove swamps and grassland. Their natural habitat stretches through southern China, the eastern Himalayas, northeast India, and Southeast Asia. It is believed that the species has become extinct in Taiwan.
Earlier, the clouded leopard was believed to have four subspecies, namely: