Clouded Panther

He is a wild animal

Origin
All of Southeast Asia, from Nepal to China
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
The possession of this animal is not authorized Royal Decree establishing the list of mammals not kept for production purposes that may be kept (M.B. 24.08.2009)
The Clouded Panther is a medium-sized cat with short legs and a very long tail. Its distinctive fawn coat is marked with large rectangular spots with dark edges reminiscent of clouds, which is the origin of its name. It is the current cat with the longest canine teeth in proportion to its size. The clouded panther is difficult to observe in the wild due to its secretive nature. It is renowned for its arboreal talents, but it moves mainly on the ground, using trees to shelter from predators such as tigers and leopards. Territorial and solitary, it hunts both nocturnal and diurnal prey, ranging in size from palm ground squirrels to hog deer.

Its range extends throughout Southeast Asia, from Nepal to China. Its preferred habitat is primary tropical rainforest, although it can adapt to other biotopes. The Clouded Panther is listed in Appendix I of CITES and is protected by national legislation in almost all the countries where it lives. However, deforestation and poaching are serious threats to the future of the species, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers this feline to be "Vulnerable". It is also a rare feline in zoos, making the formation of breeding pairs difficult and conservation breeding tricky.

The Clouded Panther measures 50 to 60 cm at the withers, with a body length of 75 to 105 cm. The tail is very long, measuring 79 to 90 cm in length and accounting for almost half the animal's total length. The Taiwanese Clouded Panther, a subspecies that has now disappeared, is said to have had a shorter tail (55 to 60 cm). This feline weighs between 18 and 23 kilograms, a cross between a small and a large cat. There is little sexual dimorphism, with females being slightly smaller than males.

Legs are sturdy and short compared to other felines; the hind legs are longer than the front ones. The feet are wide, with soft ankle joints and hard pads. Ears are rounded and short, with a black underside and a whitish spot in the center. The eyes are generally yellow-brown to gray-green, with the pupil contracting into a vertical stripe.

The Nebula Panther's coat is marked with large elliptical to rectangular spots of a darker color than the solid background, bordered on the back by a thick black line. Small black dots may be found inside the spots. The shoulder markings are the width of the flank. A partial double stripe runs down the spine. The solid background is light fawn.

The muzzle is white, and the inside of the limbs and belly are cream. Small solid black spots mark the forehead and cheeks. The nose is pink, sometimes with small black spots. Legs and belly are mottled with oblong, all-black markings. Two horizontal black bars run across the nape of the neck. At the tip of the tail, the spots become thick black stripes. Juvenile markings are solid on the flanks, becoming "nebulous" around six months of age. The arrangement of the spots is unique to each individual.

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