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Based on the hit feature in National Geographic Kids magazine, we bring you Lucky Leopards , true and inspiring stories of daring animal rescues that will engage and enchant readers of all ages. This new series offers young animal lovers, who are ready for short chapters with lively, true stories just right to carry in a backpack, share with friends, and read under the covers at night. Aline Alexander Newman is a longtime contributor to National Geographic Kids magazine and a former teacher. Her previous books for National Geographic include Lucky Leopards!
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About National Geographic Kids Chapters: Lucky Leopards Based on the hit feature in National Geographic Kids magazine, we bring you Lucky Leopards , true and inspiring stories of daring animal rescues that will engage and enchant readers of all ages. Also in NGK Chapters. Also by Aline Alexander Newman. See all books by Aline Alexander Newman. Product Details. Explore the park and stay at the eco-friendly Kanha Village Eco Resort to support the local sustainable tourism initiative.
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The leopard is similar in appearance to the jaguar but has a smaller and lighter physique. The spots on its coat are smaller and more densely packed than those of the jaguar. The leopard has the widest distribution range of all wild cats. It occurs throughout Africa and Eastern and Southern Asia. There are a number of leopard subspecies, and some of them teeter on the brink of extinction. Like the jaguar, the leopard has a black morph. Curiously, most black leopards occur on the Malay Peninsula — no one can explain why. Thankfully, some leopard populations are doing well.
A safari in Yala is similar to an Indian safari — you ride in open Jeeps through a mixture of deciduous forest and dry shrubland. Only the roads in Yala are not as smooth. So be prepared for an early start and a bumpy ride. But your reward is an almost guaranteed sighting of a leopard, often at a close range. For the best chance of spotting the leopard, book your trip with Mevan Piyasena of Wild Angles with Mevan who is recognized as the best local nature guide at Yala.
The smallest member of the big-cat family, the clouded leopard is considered to be an evolutionary link between the big cats and the small cats. The clouded leopard is the best climber among big cats. It is able to climb down tree trunks head first and can even hang down from branches by wrapping its hind legs and its long tails around them. Interestingly, the clouded leopard has the largest canine teeth in proportion to its skull among all cats. As with other big cats, this pattern helps the animal avoid detection in the dappled light under the jungle canopy.
Unfortunately, due to their secretive habits and preference for dense forest habitat, clouded leopards are extraordinarily difficult to see in the wild. There are no reliable places to suggest, apart from noting that they are sometimes seen in India on wildlife safaris. While the status of the snow leopard was changed from Endangered to Vulnerable by the IUCN last year, this decision is hotly disputed by conservation organizations on the basis of lack of scientific data to support it.
National Geographic Kids Chapters: Lucky Leopards
Scientists estimate that there are between 3, and 6, snow leopards left in the wild. The snow leopard is perfectly adapted for its inhospitable snowy habitat.
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Its white coat with black spots allows the animal merge to with the grey environment of the rocky slopes so perfectly, that it seems to disappear in front of your eyes. Low numbers, an inhospitable habitat, and exceptional camouflage make the snow leopard one of the most difficult big cats to see in the wild.
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The snow leopard-spotting trip is not for the fainthearted. It involves camping on high-altitude mountain ranges with night temperatures as low as Centigrade. Daytime activities involve long hours of scanning the slopes for the chance of spotting the leopard. But the rewards of seeing one of the most elusive big cats on the planet well outweigh the difficulties. For the best chance of success, book your adventure with Ladakh-based Exotic Ladakh Travel. Photo: Spencer Wright. The clouded leopard is one of the least-known wild cats and it was only in that the Sunda clouded leopard, occurring on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, was declared a separate species from the mainland clouded leopard.
The Sunda clouded leopard is also listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List , with less than 10, individuals remaining in the wild and the population decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching.
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Until recently, the Sunda clouded leopard was as difficult to see as its mainland cousin. In the last three years, Deramakot Forest Reserve in Borneo has been gaining a reputation as the go-to place for spotting the Sunda clouded leopard. However, even in Deramakot, finding a Clouded leopard is no easy feat. Be prepared for long nights of driving along the forest roads, often in pouring rain. Wildlife watching in the dense tropical jungle is quite different from an African safari since your view is limited to the first row of trees on either side of the road.
But the longer you search, the more rewarding the sighting will be when you finally spot the elusive cat. Book a trip with the local Adventure Alternative Borneo for your chance to see the elusive cat.
Only slightly smaller than the Siberian tiger, the lion is the second-largest big cat. There are two broad types of lions: the African lion and the endangered Asiatic lion, that occurs only in the Gir Forest National Park in the Indian state of Gujarat. Hunting as a group allows the lions to take down larger prey and share the kill among the pride. While lions do not rely on camouflage as much as all other cats, their tawny-colored coat allows them to merge with their sandy habitat.
The reality of a wildlife watching trip in Africa is quite similar, but keep in mind that if you are looking for a particular species, you might spend more time searching for it than observing it. Unpredictability is the name of the game in wildlife watching. Even in Africa.