Rare spot­ting

Sunday Times - - WEEK IN REVIEW - By Michael Gor­don

A Bornean clouded leop­ard was cap­tured on cam­era strolling through a Malaysian for­est re­serve this week, a rare day­time sight­ing of the elu­sive an­i­mals in the wild. Found only on the South­east Asian is­lands of Bor­neo and Su­ma­tra, the big cat species is known to zo­ol­o­gists as Ne­ofe­lis di­ardi, with just 700 es­ti­mated to live in a habi­tat shrunk by poach­ing and de­for­esta­tion. “See­ing it in day­time is nearly un­heard of,” said Michael Gor­don, who filmed the mother and two cubs cross a road and walk into bush in Dera­makot in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Bor­neo, where cam­era traps first spot­ted the cats in 2010. The an­i­mal’s habi­tat has shrunk by a 10th each year over the past two decades, says the World Wildlife Fund, hit by poach­ing and de­for­esta­tion for com­mer­cial pur­poses. It feeds on mon­keys, small deer, birds and lizards, and is the main preda­tor on Bor­neo, an is­land shared by Malaysia, In­done­sia and Brunei.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.