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Sunda Clouded Leopard Filmed For First Time in Sumatra

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 5th, 2011

The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), also known as the Sundaland Clouded Leopard, is a medium-sized wild cat found in Borneo and Sumatra. In 2006, it was classified as a separate species, distinct from its continental relative Neofelis nebulosa. In 2008, the IUCN classified the species as vulnerable, with a total effective population size suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, and a decreasing population trend. The first documented film of a Sundaland clouded leopard was taken in June 2009 in Sabah.

Previously, the species was known as the Bornean clouded leopard — a name publicized by the WWF in March 2007, quoting Dr. Stephen O’Brien of the U.S. National Cancer Institute as saying, “Genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopard of Borneo should be considered a separate species.”


A handout photo taken on June 13, 2009 and released on January 22, 2011 shows a Sunda clouded leopard from Borneo taken by an automated camera-trap set up by the Conservation of Carnivores in Tangkulap Forest Reserve on Sabah. The photo was distributed with the news that the animal was a separate species.


A still from new footage of the Sunda leopard in Sumatra, 2011

Now, on March 5th, 2011, comes news that this rare and elusive big cat designated as a separate species just four years ago has been filmed in Sumatra for the first time.

The camera-shy Sunda clouded leopard has finally been snapped by a camera trap in Indonesia’s Berbak National Park on the island of Sumatra. The 22-second-long video footage shows the rare cat snaking its way through the dense jungle undergrowth.

The local names, Macan Dahan in Indonesian and Harimau Dahan in Malay (also reported historically in Sumatra), mean “tree branch tiger.”

First footage from Borneo, taken in 2009, released in 2010.


About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


5 Responses to “Sunda Clouded Leopard Filmed For First Time in Sumatra”

  1. Connie Gilbert responds:

    Yes, that is a beautiful leopard, indeed!

  2. Adam Davies responds:

    The island of Sumatra is remarkable for its bio-diversity, and for the beauty of its virgin rainforests. I hope to get a decent picture of the Orang Pendek on camera soon!

  3. graybear responds:

    Now that’s how trail cams are supposed to work; crisp, clear and unmistakable. Not blobs or something hiding behind a bush that just happens to obscure anything significant.

  4. DJ_Cryptid responds:

    Oh wow. Such a great shot of such a beautiful creature. As soon as I get out of college I will indeed have recordings as such.

  5. Hoytshooter responds:

    Absolutely beautiful animal. Would love to be lucky enough to be able to get a photo of an animal such as this.



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