Taipei Zoo to unveil new clouded leopard in January

Taipei Zoo said on Monday it plans to publicly unveil a female clouded leopard, recently given by a German zoo, in mid-January.

Once the 2 1/2-year-old wild cat called "Suki" is determined to be healthy, after a 30-day quarantine period, she will be removed from her current cage to a new enclosure which will be her new home.

At the moment, Suki is very shy and prefers to hide in her cage, making health checks quite difficult, said a zoo official.

The zoo said it received Suki from Zoo Wuppertal in Germany as part of a planned breeding program. Previously, Taipei Zoo had only one clouded leopard, "Yunhsin."

Yunhsin, a 16-year-old female, was rescued from animal smugglers who transported her from Southeast Asia to Taiwan in 2001, the zoo said.

The zoo plans to introduce male clouded leopards in the future to expand the clouded leopard population, following the extinction of the indigenous Formosan clouded leopard in 2013.

Suki belongs to the "neofelis nebulosa" branch of the greater clouded leopard family, the zoo explained, adding that the species is mainly found in southern China and Southeast Asia, with the "neofelis diardi," another branch more prevalent in Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.

Since 2008, the clouded leopard has been listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List, the most comprehensive inventory on the global conservation status of biological species.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel