Clouded Leopards Have Been Spotted In The Nagaland Mountains And They Look Majestic AF

We always get excited whenever we spot something that is rare.

Whether it’s a car, an animal, or even food, it never fails to fill us with excitement. It also gives us a sense of achievement. Every corner of our world hosts a diverse range of animal species. As the title suggests, recently 4 Clouded Leopards were spotted in Nagaland’s Kiphire district, India. Most of the Clouded Leopards reside in Southeast Asia, inhabiting tropical rainforests but they don’t restrict themselves to the rainforest. They would also travel into grassland, scrubland, and wetlands. It’s nothing less than a beautiful work of art done by nature!

via India Today/WPSI/Thanamir Village

Here’s a visual representation of that community-owned forest

via WPSI

Led by the Delhi-based non-profit Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), some researchers were able to capture unique shots of this rare leopard breed at an altitude of 3700 meters in the community-owned forest of Thanamir Village, near the Indo-Myanmar border. It is said to be the highest altitude at which this elusive cat has been seen around the entire world. Did you know that the clouded leopards have been categorized as ‘vulnerable’ under the IUCN classification? Not only that but they are also known to be the smallest of the large wild cats!

They are truly gorgeous, aren’t they!?

via Pixabay

Authored by Ramya Nair, Alemba Yimkhiung, Hankiumong Yimkhiung, Kiyanmong Yimkhiung, Yapmuli Yimkhiung, Toshi Wungtung, Avinash Basker and Sahil Nijhawan, the report said:

In total, we have evidence of at least two adults and two cubs. Two distinct individuals were photo captured at a camera placed above the tree line at 3,700 m close to the summit of Mt. Saramati. Another individual was photo captured at 3,436 m. All high elevation records are from summer months suggesting that clouded leopards may seasonally expand their range upwards as the snow recedes and higher ridges attract prey.

It appears to be all innocent but it definitely isn’t. This beautiful cat actually has a very big mouth. The development of their teeth is mostly like that of the sabertooth cat, which is an extinct species. Due to their unique tooth development, Clouded Leopards can open their jaw wider than any other cat living on the planet.

via Pixabay

Talking about the rare leopards, an Arunachal Pradesh-based conservation anthropologist said:

We have found them at heights above where the trees end. They are residents of the area and are reproducing there, which indicates that there is enough food and forest cover for them to do so.

The locals would call it Khepak, which means a big grey cat.

via Pixabay

This rare breed of species also has an advantage when it comes to hunting; the ankles can rotate backward so the cat can climb down a tree headfirst, climb upside down, and even hang from its back feet, leaving the powerful front paws free to snatch at prey. Not to forget, these cats can also ambush their prey from treetops while landing at the back of their prey and killing them with just one bite. YIKES!

The researchers, who spotted the elusive leopards, published their findings in the Winter 2021 issue of the Cat News, the IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cat Specialist Group’s biannual newsletter.

via IUCN

Well, that was about it. We hope that you enjoyed reading interesting facts about this rare and gorgeous-looking species. Did you know about this species of Leopards before? Let us know your thoughts on this down in the comments below.


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