International Clouded Leopard Day is celebrated on August 4 every year. It is celebrated to raise awareness of one of the most beautiful and endangered species of animals — the Clouded Leopard — in a bid to improve their numbers both in captivity and in the wild. This animal is known by other names, one of them being the mainland clouded leopard. These species of wild cats inhabit dense forests from the foothills of the Himalayas through mainland Southeast Asia into the south of China. Estimates show fewer than 10,000 Clouded leopards living in the wild. These shy and nocturnal animals are an endangered species as they are illegally hunted for their fur, and also because their habitat is constantly being threatened.
History of International Clouded Leopard Day
The clouded leopard genetically diverged from pantherine cats million years ago. They are locally extinct in Singapore, Taiwan, and possibly Hainan Island and Vietnam. Its total population is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults. It was listed as vulnerable on the I.U.C.N. Red List in 2008 because of this.
Large–scale deforestation and commercial poaching for the wildlife trade have continued to threaten the population of the clouded leopard. Their body parts are offered for decoration and clothing even though it is legally protected in many countries. With their existence being continuously threatened, captive breeding programs were brought about in the 1980s. The clouded leopard has an average lifespan of 11 years in captivity, which is a good number compared to them living in the wild.
International Clouded Leopard Day (I.C.L.D.) was established in 2018 by Howlett’s Wild Animal Park to raise awareness of the clouded leopard. The day was spearheaded by Lauren Amos and Dan Kemp. With collaborations with zoos, charities, businesses, individuals, and many more, millions of people have gotten to know about these animals and the dangers they face.
As they are constantly kept in people’s consciousness, there is a greater chance of conserving them and their habitat. As Lauren Amos and Dan Kemp worked with clouded leopards at Howletts Wild Animal Park, they fell in love with the animals and decided to celebrate all clouded leopards on August 4 every year, which the world has now adopted.
International Clouded Leopard Day timeline
Howletts Wild Animal Park is established as a private zoo.
The animal collection in Howletts Wild Animal Park is opened to the public.
The Clouded Leopard is listed as Vulnerable on the I.U.C.N. Red List.
International Clouded Leopard Day is established by Howletts Wild Animal Park.
International Clouded Leopard Day FAQs
How fast are clouded leopards?
They can move at up to 40 miles per hour.
How many teeth do clouded leopards have?
An adult clouded leopard has 32 teeth.
Can clouded leopards swim?
They are very capable of swimming but are not seen doing so often as they are shy animals.
How to Observe International Clouded Leopard Day
Raise awareness of the clouded leopard. These animals are still not as well-known, and raising awareness of them and the dangers they face helps to preserve them.
Watch a documentary
Watch a documentary on clouded leopards. It helps you get to know them better.
Donate to a cause for them
Celebrate the day by donating to a cause dedicated to helping clouded leopards. Getting more funds would help organizations preserve this species.
5 Facts About Clouded Leopards
They are not big cats
The clouded leopard is considered to be a medium-sized cat.
They live in Asia
In their natural habitat, they can only be found in Asia.
They are named after their coat
Clouded leopards have a blotchy, clouded pattern on their coats.
Clouded leopards are great climbers
Most cats are great climbers, but the clouded leopard is right up there with the very best.
They have large canines
Clouded leopards have the largest canine teeth of all cats compared to body size.
Why International Clouded Leopard Day is Important
It protects clouded leopards
International Clouded Leopard Day helps protect clouded leopards. These animals are a vulnerable species and so must be protected.
It makes us more conscious of our environment
Knowing what effects we have on our environment, especially against clouded leopards, helps us appreciate and take care of it. As people become more environmentally conscious, the environment gets better.
It supports a good cause
International Clouded Leopards Day, just like most awareness days, supports a good cause. Good causes like these should always be prioritized.
International Clouded Leopard Day dates