Archive for the ‘clouded leopard’ Category
From Philadelphia, we went south to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Our first stop there was the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise known as the National Zoo. There were several animals we wanted to see, and was an amazing campus.
On entry, a prairie dog peeked up to greet us.
But, let’s face, it, I was there to see cats. The National Zoo did not disappoint. There were two sets of lion cubs, for a total of seven.
They were getting into everything!
…and on to everyone!
There dad is Luke, a very handsome dude.
If I’m reading this right, he’s the father of John, the new African lion at the Cincinnati zoo. Good looks clearly run in the family. And he knows it.
But, seven cubs can be exhausting!
There were also two tiger cubs and their mom. The cubs are right at a year old.
They like to stalk…
…have a drink…
…and, of course, take a nap. They are cats, after all.
I was excited to see a caracal, a cat they don’t have at very many zoos.
He was a bit shy.
The caracal decided to wander off. As a cat geek, I understood, even if I think I was one of the few who was most excited to see them.
As is often the case, the caracal was positioned near a bobcat.
We got to see a snoozing sand cat.
And a snoozing clouded leopard. Like I said, they’re cats; they sleep.
Another sleeping cat we saw was an old friend. Lek is a fishing cat, born in Cincinnati. I have pictures of him and his brothers as cubs.
This Queen City boy has fathered four cubs with Electra, a female.
We like cheetahs.
My daughter has also started taking photos at zoos, getting her own perspective on the animals.
There were seven Asian small clawed otter pups.
Some were busy constructing something.
I’m always amused at zoos when there are animal “tourists.” Usually it’s a squirrel or some birds. The elephants appeared to have a pet deer.
The keepers seemed to indicated this was an ongoing problem, but didn’t really pose a danger to either species.
Meet the Ruppell’s griffon vulture. While this one was hanging out on the ground, these are the highest-flying bird on the planet. They are typically cited as flying in the thin air at 20,000 feet, though there are records of them being as high as nearly 40,000 feet.
Lots of turtles on a log.
Degu are small rodents native to South America.
I’m becoming quite the fan of the burrowing owl.
We had a great day at the National Zoo, and walked over its great expanses.
It’s National Cat Day! Let’s celebrate cats both wild and domesticated.
Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.
–Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
While we were in Columbus for the Dublin Irish Festival, we also went to the Columbus Zoo. Ohio has some great zoos, and while I am biased towards the Cincinnati Zoo and it’s large collection of cats and research efforts in conservation, the Columbus Zoo is perhaps a bit better known.
A few months ago, some Amur tiger cubs were born, and we wanted to see them while they were still little. Amur Tigers are one of six remaining tiger subspecies, and are the largest felines. The exhibit at the Columbus Zoo drives home the point about extinction quite dramatically as you approach their enclosure. One display, which I regret not having taken a photo of, had a pedestal to hold a tiger statue, done in a stylized Asian style. there was one pedestal for each of the nine subspecies. Three of the statues were broken (only part remaining) to represent the Bali, Caspian, and Javan tigers. These subspecies are now extinct.
The most magnificent creature in the entire world, the tiger is.
–Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
When we got to the tigers, two were having breakfast, provided by mom.
The other two were dozing under a tree. One thing I’ve learned about photographing animals at zoos, especially babies, is to be willing to go early and go back. So, when we returned…
All four were under the tree. Not what I was hoping for. Still, they were cute.
Mom was at least getting a break. She is a gorgeous cat!
OK. We’ll come back to them. Near the tigers was a red panda, a non-cat I’m becoming quite the fan of.
Several flying foxes were hanging around.
Including a baby, in it’s own mini-cage. The adults were about the size of a cat; the baby would readily fit in my hand.
A new-to-me animal was the markhor. This member of the goat family was about the size of an adult deer. It lives primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their horns were great.
A young elephant was tossing dust on it’s back.
Those tiger cubs up yet?
We were surprised to see clouded leopards–they weren’t on the web page. The zoo just got them-much of their enclosure’s signage still alluded to the sun bears that were there before. Clouded leopards are among my favorite cats, so it was a treat for us.
These were relatively young ones–I’ll say “adolescent.”
They are such pretty cats–just amazing!
While we were standing their, someone mentioned that the cub was out. My wife and I looked at each other: “cub?!?” A clouded leopard cub, in fact. It was in an area by the entrance How did we miss it? Perhaps focus on the tiger cubs. We set out to see this cub, as it sounded like he might not be out long. By the way–where the tiger cubs up?
OK. They are cats, and cats sleep two-thirds of their life. And they are babies. Babies sleep a lot. These are definitely cute cubs, and it is great to see them. However, we really were hoping to see them romp around and play. I wouldn’t say the trip was a bust, but certainly not as exciting as we were hoping.
We went to the front, and saw a sign “Clouded Leopard Cub.” That’s the spot!
His name is Saber, a four-month-old cub. He is being raised to be an ambassador animal, to go with Jack Hanna to educate people about these cats. Saber, however, was just being a kid, rolling around, and showing us his magnificent belly.
He prowled around his cage some.
He was also very interested in seeing the people who gathered to see him. This will likely make him a great ambassador animal.
The volunteer was there answering questions about these magnificent cats. At some point, she was stumped by a question. My daughter outed me as being a cat geek (it was either that, or my Snow Leopard Trust t-shirt). I filled in a few gaps, including explaining how snow leopards and clouded leopards were different. Saber relaxed and listened.
Of course, in spite of the name, neither snow leopards nor clouded leopards are more closely related to regular leopards than a tiger or house cat. Leopards are true, roaring big cats.
We are fond of otters. The Asian small clawed otters romped around their enclosure.
They were quite chatty.
Should we go back to see if the tiger cubs have gotten up?
Disapproving otter frowns on your tiger obsession.
A koala was sleeping in the trees of his enclosure.
The kangaroo enclosure was a path with a mantrap on either end. You were basically in the exhibit. One keeper was standing by one kangaroo in particular. Caroline was her name. She was described as a troublemaker.
I find okapis very interesting. at a glance, they look like a horse/zebra hybrid. However, they are actually relatives of the giraffe. For the first time, I noticed their horns.
There were actually two okapi enclosures. One had an okapi…and a bunny friend.
Look in the lower left-hand corner.
We wanted to see the moose, another situation where we went back twice. The second time, one was laying out front in the open.
Earlier, however, they were in a cuddle puddle.
Speaking of cuddle puddles, I’ve never seen manatees in one before.
We saw lounging lady lions.
And mountain lions.
Next door ware bobcats, taking a nap.
Maybe just resting his eyes.
We didn’t get to see a beaver during our trip to Canada, but one did come and say “hi” to us–he even waved!
They moved quite like the otters.
The Mexican wolves were gorgeous.
Whether walking around.
Or doing Pilates.
It was a great day at a great Ohio zoo. The tigers were not as exciting as we hoped, however they are wild animals doing what comes naturally, not performers. When you go to a zoo, you need to enjoy that behavior, and still appreciate what magnificent creatures they are. Still, as a treat, we got to see Saber. In a sense, he was there to save the day!
A six hour drive westward brought us from Montreal to Toronto, where Canada’s largest zoo is located. The Toronto Zoo has a large collection of animals, as well as visitors in the parking lot.
In terms of area, this is the largest zoo I’ve seen with the exceptions of the Wilds and the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park. Most of the large animals had enormous enclosures. For example, the bison practically had a prairie.
The Bison were in the Canadian Domain section. Half of the small cats we saw were there. Two Canadian Lynxes were hanging out in the drizzle. One was trying to hide from the rain.
The other didn’t let it deter him.
They also had a pair of cougars. When we were standing there, we learned that a government agency released a couple of cougars to take care of an overpopulation of fishers, a fierce member of the weasel problem.
We saw plenty of “moose crossing” signs as we drove through Quebec, but never saw a moose (or a deer, for that matter). We watched this gentle giant enjoy his lunch.
The big thrill in Canadian Domain was the grizzly. One appeared to be juvenile.
The boisterous youngster seemed to be intent on playing with an older bear. Personally, I wouldn’t mess with her.
Adjacent to the Canadian Domain was the Tundra Trek, showing the animals of the Arctic.
Our favorite was the Arctic wolves.
The Arctic fox was displaying his summer coat.
I liked the snowy owl.
The polar bear was having a lazy afternoon.
One thing I found interesting was an inuksuk, a marking stone used by the Inuit.
The America’s section was home to the otters.
We always love the antics of river otters.
The spectacled owls watched us as we entered.
One enclosure had parrots and capybaras. A capybara got a bit too curious about the parrots’ goings on.
He was escorted off their perch.
The Toronto Zoo has two jaguars. One is tawny, taking a bath.
The other was melanistic. It looked a little like Luna.
The cheetah keeper was giving a talk at 1:30. We got there at 1:27, and saw no cats. Right as my watched hit half-past, we saw a head.
Zeek the cheetah knew when he’d get a snack.
Such a handsome cat.
Next door was a white lion pride. A male.
…and two females.
We watched them for a bit. I think we bored him.
Obviously, this was in the Africa section, also home to Southern white rhinos.
The antelope played in the drizzle.
And African elephants. African elephants have larger ears than their Asian counterparts.
I’ve seen plenty of pictures of sugar gliders, but I don’t think I’ve seen one in person before.
This was in the indoor Australia exhibit. I liked the reptiles, such as a one year old emerald tree boa.
The bearded dragon just watched.
A sign indicated that their clouded leopard was an older cat, and the zoo keepers were trying to keep her comfortable. She simply dozed as an older feline should.
The gaur is a fairly rare species–from what I can tell, the Toronto Zoo is the only one in North america who has them. Also known as the Indian Bison, it is the tallest species of wild cattle.
The spider tortoise is one of the smallest of the tortoise species.
Only one of the two subspecies of tiger, the Sumatran tiger, was visible when we went.
A reindeer was sprinting around his enclosure. It was fun to watch him run.
The Toronto Zoo is getting two giant pandas on a five-year loan.
There was a large “Interpretive Center” on the way in, speaking about these creatures. It left me perplexed: they eat only one species of bamboo, but only get nutrients from about half of what they consume. They eat all of their waking life. Have they become overspecialized?
The Eurasian exhibit was, for the most part, closed. A tram went through part of it. We were told we could see the snow leopard, and given a series of wrong directions, leading us to circumnavigate much of the zoo, only to finally find out that, while the snow leopards were still at the zoo, they could not be seen while we were there. This exhibit is being remodeled, set to open in 2014. This was a major disappointment to me.
However, it was still a very impressive zoo. We were there pretty much from opening to close, and I’m not entirely sure how we would have fit in another section during our time there. The exhibits were well done, and there was a lot of space for the animals living there.
We went to the zoo today, for the annual Zoo Blooms event. Where last year, where a mild winter left us without blooms, it was a colorful spectacle.
Of course, the main reason I go to the zoo is to see the animals. The first animal I took a picture of was a little wallaby.
The black bear was having a nap.
The Siberian lynx, however, was watching everyone.
One of the clouded leopards was on a pedestal.
She was bathing herself, in the “cello” pose.
A black-footed cat was watching what we were doing. He seemed concerned about what was up.
Miss Lop-Ears the caracal napping on top of some rocks.
Mama fishing cat was, too.
We went outside to see what was going on. I’ve been fascinated with tigers a lot lately.
Springtime is when snow leopards usually have cubs. I have no information, and snow leopard Renji has been dozing the last few times I’ve been to the zoo. Fortunately, Nubo makes a great pillow.
Two reptile animal ambassadors were out today. Periwinkle was a blue tongue skink in the Night Hunters building.
Tallahassee the alligator was hanging out in the gift shop. We’ve seen him before.
It was an absolutely gorgeous and colorful day at the Cincinnati Zoo!
I watched some snow leopard videos last week, that left me jonsing for a trip to the zoo. I made it out that this last weekend. On the way to the Night Hunters, I saw an Andean condor.
Next door was a stellar sea eagle.
Once at night hunters, one of the Pallas cats was hanging out on a rock checking out everyone who came in. He seemed quite interested in me.
The clouded leopard was having a bath.
How many cat owners know what I mean when I describe something as the “chello” pose?
I got my best shot of the bobcat! Such a handsome cat.
The fishing cat is in the hardest spot to get a picture. There are computer screens immediately opposite her glass, giving everything a very blue light. Black and white, unfortunately, is the only way to go.
The sand cat, always a favorite, seemed quite pensive up against the glass.
Outside, the Siberian lynx was out–it was a cold enough morning for it. I hadn’t seen her in a while.
Tecumseh the cougar was sleeping in a ball.
His brother, Joseph, had to photobomb him!
The tiger area wasn’t too crowded, so I could spend some time looking at these amazing cats.
The Cincinnati Zoo has Malayan tigers, the second smallest tiger subspecies. They weigh in at just under two hundred pounds. In contrast, the Amur tiger, the largest cat, weighs nearly twice that. I’ve been reading a book about Amur tigers, titled Tiger: A true Story of Vengeance and Survival. I’ll probably post more about the book once I finish it, but the author cites a description of tigers having a “heavy grace.” I think it is quite apt.
Snow leopards Renji and Nubo were having a quiet Sunday morning, relaxing in the sun.
I have no idea what Renji saw.
Nubo wasn’t that interested.
It must have moved. She’s such a pretty cat!
Yes, Nubo, you’re cute, too.
The arctic fox was in his vantage way up high.
I walked up to the otter enclosure. One walked right up to me.
Could someone please clean this window?
Finally, the Mexican wolves were enjoying their morning.
It’s an annual tradition at the Cincinnati Zoo: the Festival of Lights. The zoo stays open late, with hundreds of LEDs strung throughout the zoo.
Obviously, a yuletide theme was used on many of the lights.
Of course, some were suggesting warmer climates.
Being dark and after their typical hours, many animals weren’t out. However, the polar bear seemed quite appropriate to say “hi” to.
Apparently, the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the places a team of reindeer hang out. Will they be there tonight?
The iconic Elephant House at night.
The turtles weren’t out, but they were represented in lights…
…and in bronze.
The cougar brothers were being quite active, and had quite the crowd. It was difficult to get a good photo of them. Still, it was neat to see them romp and tackle each other, much like Eddy and Beso.
Cat Canyon, where snow leopards Renji and Nubo are, was closed. Perhaps they were busy helping the Christmas Snow Leopard?
Inside the Night Hunters building, however, the pallas cat kept watch. They look warm and fuzzy.
Most cats were asleep, including the clouded leopard…
…and the black footed cat.
Even Miss Lop-Ears the caracal was sleeping. Can you find her?
However, Mama Fishing cat was up and active.
Good to see her up and about.
The fennec foxes kept watch as well.
It was a great night to go to the zoo.
October 29, 2012 is being celebrated as National Cat Day! Naturally, I want to wish a happy one to all my felid friends!
These are just a few! I love these guys, and the rest of the thirty-seven species of cat.
We heard that Savanna, the cheetah cub, was making appearances before the cheetah run. Last weekend we thought we’d go see her, however, we got a late start, and barely made it to the show. Unfortunately, she only came out right before the show, and missed her! Still, we did get to see Sihil the ocelot. She demonstrated the ocelot’s ability to climb head first. They have bowed legs and very flexible ankles to facilitate this.
Minnow came out. Here, she is waiting for her trainer to throw the fish into the pond, for her to jump after.
I think this is the first time I saw Quilliam, the porcupine, this year.
Tommy T ran…then braked!
The Running Yard is near the giraffes. They watched us walk by.
We wanted to see the Night Hunters and Cat Canyon. On the way, a keeper had Gizmo out. He is a African White-Faced Owl. At eight months old, he’s fully grown, and just now getting to see the public. This was the first time he was in this particular location, behind the Reptile House. He was taking it all in.
It’s a big world out here. Isn’t it, Gizmo?
The tigers were dozing at Cat Canyon.
Snow Leopards Renji and Nubo were in a cuddle puddle when we got to their enclosure.
However, Nubo heard a squirrel. He got up and walked over to check it out.
Renji was not amused.
Nubo eventually tired of the squirrel, bringing out a big yawn.
It seemed to be contagious.
In Night Hunters, the ocelot was staring at…something.
At the clouded leopards, there was a real treat…
It was their sunrise–they turned on the lights. One of the cloudies was climbing around.
The other was watching him…suspiciously. Their eyes are so intense!
The fishing cat seems so sullen these days. I hope they find her a new friend.
The bobcat is handsome…and he knows it.
The fennec fox cubs got bigger since the last time we were there.
Still, they are bouncing all over, and pestering each other like good siblings should.
One of the neat things about WordPress is that I can see what terms people are using in search engines to find my blog. Some, like “clouded leopard pictures” are pretty natural and general. Others I seem to have something spot on, such as advice on keeping pens.
However, I often see queries which I think are very good questions, but I don’t think I answer them very well, and there may not be a good, concise answer on the web (many of these are about cats). In the interest of improving my blogging, as well as advocating and educating about the subjects I love, I’ve decided to track the more interesting queries, and periodically answer them. This is the first installment.
hear black footed cat roar
I’m interpreting this as “what does a black footed cat sound like?” I’m afraid they don’t roar.
Black footed cats are a small cat, both in the fact they are the second-smallest cat species, and in the notional divide of “small cat” versus “large cat.” One of the characteristics in this split is the size of the hyoid bone, which connects the tongue to the mouth.
In small cats, the hyoid bone is relatively small and rigid. This allows them to have a bimodal purr–that is, they can produce a near-continous purr, both while inhaling and exhaling. However, it prevents them from opening their throat up wide enough to roar. Big cats, such as lions and tigers, have a larger, relatively flexible hyoid bone. This allows a roar, but they can’t purr. This creates some unusual situations, as cheetahs and cougars, relatively large-sized cats, purr rather than roar. Snow leopards don’t exactly do either.
So what does a black footed cat sound like? I personally haven’t heard one, and could not find a good example. Most references I’ve seen suggest their rage of sounds is more or less the same as house cats–not surprising, given their relatively similar sizes and common genus (felis).
Are clouded leopards and ocelots the same?
Clouded leopards and ocelots are both amazing cats. They are adapted to live and hunt in trees, and can descend a tree head-first (as opposed to “backing down” like other species). They are both nocturnal hunters, adapted to stalking their at night. They both readily qualify as “small cats.” Unfortunately, like so many wild cats, both are endangered.
While there are many similarities, they are not the same. Clouded leopards are generally larger than ocelots, topping out at fifty pounds (compared to the ocelot, for whom the high end of the range is fourty pounds). Their coats are also very different. Ocelots have a spot/stripe combination, while clouded leopard has the broad, open patches, which inspire their name. Clouded leopards mostly live in the jungles of south-east Asia, where ocelots are new world cats. There have even been ocelot sightings in south-west Texas.
So, while both have many similarities, and probably could have a good time comparing notes on hunting technique, they are not the same animal.
Where is Big Muskie’s bucket?
Generally, when I visit a place, I try to link to the place’s web site, to allow more information to be readily gathered. This generally includes information about admission fees, hours, and, of course, directions. For zoos, aquariums, and museums, this is pretty easy. More than once, I’ve dug back to a blog post in order to find the link.
Unfortunately, I didn’t include one on my post about Big Muskie’s bucket. As near as I can tell, there is not find an “official” site for the Minor’s Memorial Park, the resting place of this artifact. Still, I could have provided some insight into where it was, aside from “near the Wilds.” Bad blogger!
The Nobel County, Ohio, tourism web site has a page on the Minor’s Memorial Park, placing it “16 miles West of Caldwell I-77 Exit 25 and right along SR 78.” It can also be found on Google Maps, which can give turn-by-turn directions.
How do leopards and cheetahs sleep?
They take cat naps.
Seriously, I found this question interesting for a number of reasons. First, it reminded me just how infrequently I’ve see leopards in zoos. Going back over the last couple of years, I know I saw one in San Diego and New Orleans, and I think I saw one in Cleveland. However, I see many more tigers and lions than true leopards. While they are called “leopards” because they are spotted cats, snow leopards and clouded leopards are not true leopards–they are related to leopards only as much as house cats are (same family, different genus and species). I am going to assume they meant true leopards, as they share a habitat with cheetahs.
Second, it is not entirely clear what is meant by “how do they sleep,” but I’ll take a stab at it. Cheetahs are diurnal, meaning they are up during the day, and sleep at night. Leopards, on the other hand, are nocturnal, hunting at night. Leopards are excellent climbers, preferring the safety of branches as a place drag prey up, eat, and sleep. Cheetahs are not good climbers, and will find safe places on the ground to slumber. Researchers are still trying to determine the typical sleep number of both species.