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Of course, every species on earth has its own unique role to play in maintaining an overarching ecological balance both in life and in nature, and the clouded leopard is one that is having its place taken away. With the population decreasing, this species is considered on the ‘vulnerable’ list with threats from deforestation as well as illegal killings by humans.

In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we understand only what we are taught.

Baba Dioum

The juggernaut that is humankind continues to overwhelm and overpower nature at a pace that is both relentless and insatiable. Sadly, humans have become immune to the warnings of those who foretell us of the loss of species, forests and ocean life.

Whether this is through managing prey based animal numbers, ensuring seed dispersal, looking after grasslands or simply by maintaining a healthy genetic diversity that ensures the survival of any given species, everything in conservation has a purpose.

The hope is that in some small way raising the awareness of the plight of the clouded leopard may somehow help this most beautiful of cats in the wild and also provide humans with a greater understanding of its needs. Welcome to International Clouded Leopard Day!

History of International Clouded Leopard Day

The clouded leopard is a unique cat that is too large to be considered a small cat, but is not quite large enough to fall in the big cat category either. With the male cat almost twice the size of the female, the clouded leopard has a distinct fur pattern in a brown or yellowish-gray color that has dark spots, stripes and blotches that are irregular.

The most dangerous threat to the clouded leopard is deforestation in their native southeast Asian habitat, as well as commercial poaching for their fur. They have been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list since 2008.

International Clouded Leopard Day (ICLD) is a day of international awareness and an attempt to increase the profile of clouded leopards both in captivity and in the wild. The organizers of ICLD are Lauren Amos and Dan Kemp, two carnivore keepers from Howletts Wild Animal Park and the Aspinall Foundation in Kent, England, who work with this shy and elusive species on a daily basis.

International Clouded Leopard Day was first founded in 2018 and the inaugural event included talks, tours, and activities for all ages at the Howletts Park in Kent. However, fortunately for the clouded leopards, this day didn’t just exist in Kent, but the celebrations also reached zoos in the USA and Asia.

The objective of ICLD is to raise awareness and unite conservation thinking amongst zoological collections, charities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and various others who have an interest in one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic cats, the clouded leopard.

How to Celebrate International Clouded Leopard Day

Get on board with celebrating International Clouded Leopard Day by getting creative with some of your own ideas or enjoying some of these:

Raise Awareness about Clouded Leopards

One important activity that can be done in observance of International Clouded Leopard Day would be to help others know about the plight of this unique cat. Parents and teachers can use this day as an opportunity to help kids gain knowledge about the clouded leopard. Or it might even be fun to host an event that will provide information while raising funds in honor of this vulnerable species.

Learn Fun Facts About the Clouded Leopard

One super way to celebrate and show appreciation for International Clouded Leopard Day might be to learn a bit more about this unique vulnerable species. Grab a few fun facts that are interesting and then share them with friends, family members or coworkers in celebration of the day. Get started with some of these bits of trivia about the clouded leopard:

  • Because of their hyoid bone, clouded leopards actually purr like smaller cats, instead of roaring like other big cats. They can also hiss, growl, moan and even meow when they are communicating to other animals.

  • The clouded leopard has huge jaws. In fact, it can open its mouth wider than any other big cat.

  • The tail of a clouded leopard is the longest of any cat species in relation to the size of its body, which provides for its amazing balance while it navigates various tree branches in its jungle habitat.

  • Clouded leopards have eyes that are like no other. Their pupils do not fully widen like large cats, but neither do they form into slits like smaller cats. Instead, these cats have oblong shaped pupils.

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