Meet Sang Dao from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington. Sang Dao and her mate Tien are participants in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Clouded Leopards. Sang Dao is due to give birth to ‘hopefully’ three healthy cubs at the end of March.
As Clouded Leopards are extremely elusive cats and the fact that they live way up high in the trees means, not much is known about them in the wild or how many of them are left in the wild. The latest study shows there are approximately fewer than 10,000 mature individuals left in the wild. The clouded leopard is listed as vulnerable, meaning its probability of extinction during the next 20 years is at least 10%.
Clouded leopards are the most talented climbers among the cats. In captivity, they have been observed to climb down vertical tree trunks head first, and hang on to branches with their hind paws bent around branchings of tree limbs. They are capable of supination and can even hang down from branches only by bending their hind paws and their tail around them.