Friday, September 13, 2013

Clouded Leopard caught in Brunei's capital

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: A Bornean clouded leopard slipped into human habitat and remained on a tree for nearly 12 hours before local authorities safely captured the “cat” in the capital yesterday, Borneo Bulletin reported.

Curious onlookers gathered at the site to catch a glimpse of the endangered animal as photos of the cat resting on the tree went viral on social media networks.

The animal was first spotted around 6.30am.

It was learnt that the animal was found roaming around a facility by security guards on duty yesterday morning who at first thought it was just a stray cat. However, after realising the distinctive black and dark dusky-grey skin pattern and long bushy tail, the guards took action by calling the authorities.

Some 20 Police Rangers armed with tranquilisers and rescue equipment from the Reserve Unit of the Royal Brunei Police Force, with the help of a local wildlife rescue team set up nets to capture the “big cat”.

Just before sundown, the rescue teams managed to get a clear shot of the animal that was brought down with a tranquiliser dart.

However, it was clear that the “big cat” would not go down without a fight as it jumped from tree-to-tree before falling to the ground and getting entangled in the nets.

Rescue personnel seized the opportunity and caught the animal by its neck with a noose stick before safely locking the animal in a cage. The animal was kept for observation before it was released yesterday evening into its natural habitat. No injuries were reported.

Head of Wildlife Division, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Hj Ajamain Hj Sawal told the Bulletin that the clouded leopard was spotted around 6.30am in an urban area of the Brunei-Muara District, and the Wildlife Division helped to catch the endangered species using a net with cooperation from the police.

The wildlife chief said clouded leopards have been spotted roaming urban areas in the past, and there was an incident where a clouded leopard was hit by a car and died.

He said just like other animals such as monkeys, clouded leopards are encroaching into the urban area looking for food as their habitat is disturbed.

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