~ The photographer’s words ~
This stunning pair of clouded leopards are a couple I’ve worked with a number of times at Khao Kheow Open Zoo (KKOZ) here in Thailand. The one on the left is a lady, Sen Lek, and the one on her right is her male companion and mate Lai Tai. KKOZ is at the forefront of clouded leopard conservation with their highly successful selective breeding programme. Sen Lek and Lai Tai actually share adjoining enclosures and only get together like this under close supervision, because when Sen Lek is in oestrus (i.e. biologically ready to mate) one thing can easily lead to another and the primary purpose of KKOZ’s breeding programme is to strengthen the gene pool of clouded leopards, not simply to produce as many cats as they can.