Named after the cloud-like spots on its body, the Clouded leopard is an enigma on the cat family. It was recorded as a species about 200 years ago and continues to intrigue researchers with its unique biological features. It can open its jaws wider than any other cat species and although it is much smaller than the tiger, its canine teeth are the same length. This feature makes the clouded leopard look very much like the now-extinct saber-toothed tiger.
It is an arboreal creature. Its amazing tail which is the longest in relation to body length of any cat species, keeps it balanced as it sits in the tree canopy waiting for its prey. It feeds on a variety of squirrels, monkeys, birds and wild pigs.
The preferred hunting method is to ambush its prey from above. The clouded leopard is very agile and can climb upside down along a branch and even climb down trees head first. The male clouded leopard can be double the size of the female, and this makes it the largest gender size difference in the cat family.
They tend to be solitary animals and their small size (1.4m in length) and forest habitat make them difficult to study in the wild. This, however, has not stopped hunters who continue to hunt them for their beautiful fur and body parts for medicinal purposes.