Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is now home to two Clouded Leopards. Clouded Leopards are beautiful Asian cats, named for their spots that resemble clouds. Th ese leopards have long canine teeth that some people compare to the extinct Saber-toothed cat.
Clouded Leopards are excellent climbers. Th ey can climb upside down underneath tree branches, hang by their feet, and even descend head fi rst from the canopy. Although they’re great climbers, they do most of their hunting on the ground. Th ey eat deer, pigs, monkeys, squirrels and birds in the wild.
Clouded Leopards are a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Skins, claws, and teeth have been sold in markets in their native countries, including Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Hunting is banned in several areas, but that ban is not always well regulated. In addition, the production of palm oil is causing rapid loss of the tropical rainforests that is their habitat. It’s used in food, cosmetics, and household products. Purchasing products made with sustainable palm oil can greatly reduce the impact on Clouded Leopard habitats.
Introducing Koshi and Rhu
Koshi and Rhu came to Loveland Living Planet Aquarium from the Houston Zoo. Koshi was born on June 6, 2014 at the Houston Zoo and weighs about 46 pounds. He was named aft er a nature reserve in Nepal.
Rhu was born at the Denver Zoo on March 14, 2014 and weighs about 33 pounds. Her name means “pure” in Hindi.
Species Survival Program (SSP)
Koshi and Rhu are a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Th e goals of the program are to stabilize populations, improve population genetics, and develop conservation eff orts in their natural habitats.
The leopards are the premier attraction of Expedition: Asia, presented by America First Credit Union. Th e gallery takes guests on an adventure through the Asian continent, where they will also encounter Asian small-clawed otters, Binturongs, giant fi sh, reptiles, and exotic birds. For more information, visit www.thelivingplanet.com.