The striking pattern of clouded leopards outdoes all other patterns, stripes, spots and shades. It can be better explained as marble blotches and hence, clouded leopards are sometimes called marbled cats. No one blotch is similar and the larger ones are more beautiful when compared to the smaller ones. These animals are on the verge of extinction and the Endangered Species Act has been applied to them. Some states have ruled that it is illegal to keep them as pets and even in states where they are allowed, they fetch a huge price.
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Taking a Closer Look at Clouded Leopards
There is major difference between the weight of males and females. Male clouded leopards weigh up to sixty pounds where as the females weigh around thirty pounds. Since the natural habitats of these animals are found in high altitudes, they have a long, thick and furry tail.
They have the longest canine teeth among the cat family. The structure of the body in front is compressed and powerful. Clouded leopards have short but muscular legs with huge front paws.
Since clouded leopards come from a mountainous region, they are very fond of climbing. Their cage should be built at least ten feet high and it would be even better if trees are provided within their area of captivity.
Climbing Trees and Reaching Great Heights
Climbing trees and reaching great heights is a must do exercise for clouded leopards in order to satisfy their psychological needs. But extra care must be taken when they are outdoors and on trees because if they escape they are very quick and difficult to catch.
The cage can also be equipped with hanging toys, which they can leap to reach. Other toys can also be included.
Clouded leopards can be fed with fresh chicken, pigeons, chunks of beef, rabbits, rats and even with fresh blood. Before consuming the food they do a ritual which aids in their digestion process. They have a very unique way of hunting their prey.
Clouded Leopards are Unique Hunters
The prey is killed first, after which clouded leopards play with the deceased prey for more than an hour. At the end, it eats its prey. And if a tree is provided in its living habitat, it will take its dead prey up the tree and eat it there.
Clouded leopards can make up to forty sounds and have very good vocal chords. They mimic many birds and also monkeys in order to trick them into approaching and subsequently kill them.
Other than their regular food clouded leopards should also be given daily vitamin supplements and giblets. Their daily diet should comprise at least one chicken, a rabbit and a rat.
They Mate for Life
Clouded leopards make partners for life and bonds very early in life. Unsuccessful attempts are made to breed them by introducing the pair to each other post adolescence which is too late.
In order to be successful, the pair should be introduced very early so that they can take the time to develop a comfort level and build love between them. The pair of clouded leopards should not be separated until death, as that will affect both of them immensely.
After the birth of an offspring, it should be kept with the mother for six weeks, after which it can be paired with the opposite gender for bonding.
If the cub is separated earlier than that, it can be fed with bottled milk. Which also helps to develop a relationship with their owner.
Stress Can Kill Clouded Leopards
Whether clouded leopards are kept as pets or in zoos, these animals should not be exposed a lot to the public. This causes them to experience extreme stress and eventually an untimely death. Also, they shouldn’t be transported frequently or separated from their partners after a certain age.
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