Wild Bornean Clouded Leopard Family Caught on Film for the First Time

Few creatures are as adorable in the wild as the big cats or, in this case, the medium-sized cats. Agile nocturnal predators, the Bornean clouded leopard makes up for its smaller stature with its exceptionally long canines and long, spotted tails. Known scientifically as Neofelis diardi borneensis, the adorable cats are incredibly elusive; they are rarely seen in person or even captured by cameras on their native island of Indonensian Borneo. But an exciting new video from a camera trap in Tanjung Puting National Park has been released. The camera trap is the first to capture a family of Bornean clouded leopards. A mom and two cubs parade preciously with their iconic spots and tails on full display.

The video was announced by the Orangutan Foundation and Tanjung Puting National Park, who are careful to keep tabs on the exceptional creatures within the park. Camera traps are critical to checking in on the welfare of these species without disturbing them with human presence. On April 9, a camera deep in the forest captured a mother leopard with two adorable cubs. The three are agile and alert as they hop across the forest floor, tails assisting in balance. One cub even takes a last peek straight into the lens. This sighting is more than just adorable—it is evidence of the species' wellbeing.

The Bornean clouded leopard is designated a vulnerable species, with an estimated five to 11 thousand on Borneo, and a few thousand more on the island of Sumatra. According to Orangutan Foundation research manager Anxious Yoga Perdana, “The clouded leopard is an arboreal species and excellent hunter on the ground that plays an important role in maintaining the ecosystem. As one of the rarest species to find, being able to see a female and cubs gives us evidence that they are healthy and actively breeding.”

Deforestation is a considerable threat to these tree-loving cats, and according to the Orangutan Foundation, that's why “it is important to protect the forest habitat, enabling a safe environment for this mother and her offsprings, and other individuals, to grow up safely and one day reproduce themselves.”

A remote trail camera filmed an adorable family of Bornean clouded leopards in the dense forests of Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesian Borneo.

h/t: [Live Science]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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