8 Facts about the Clouded Leopard

Here at the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, we are the proud home of Clouded Leopard. Check out these 8 great facts about the Clouded Leopard from one of our resident specialists at the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve.

8 Facts About the Clouded Leopard


The Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve is the only place in Southern Africa where you can view Clouded Leopards.


Are they big cats or small cats? Technically, they are their own classification, a bridge between small and large cats. Small cats can purr, big cats roar, but they can’t purr. We have never heard them roar, but they are chatty cats. They can also chuff, which is a sound that tigers and Snow Leopards make that can act as a friendly or like a “please don’t hurt me” sound.


Are Clouded Leopard related to tigers? Or snow leopards? No, not really. Tigers and snow leopards are in the genus Panthera and Clouded Leopards are in the genus Neofelis.


Clouded Leopard aren’t even real leopards like the African leopards, which makes it more confusing to classify them. They are named after their markings, which are cloud-like rosettes with dark outlines and lighter centres.


Clouded Leopards are very elusive and it is their secretive nature that makes it difficult for scientists to conduct any valuable research.


They are exceptional climbers, they have the ability to hang from branches by only their hind feet!


Relative to their body size, these cats have the largest canines and longest tails of all felines. Their teeth are the same size as that of a tiger (5 cm)! That is why they are known as the closest living relative to the extinct Saber-Toothed tiger, they can also open their mouths 100 degrees, which is pretty intimidating.


Throughout China they are referred to as mint leopards as their spots look like mint leaves. While in Malaysia they are called tree tigers. And we call them on their real name – The Clouded Leopard

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