Friday, November 19, 2010

The BIG Cat of Borneo

My recent trip to the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary produce an unexpected encounter with one of Borneo's rarely encountered feline. This is none other than the Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardii). My last personal sighting of this feline in the Kinabatangan was approximately about a year ago and to see it back again - this time with one slightly decent photograph will be something that i will never forget. The extreme rarity of seeing one in the wild makes me shiver with joy every time i recap back on this wonderful moment.

It all started when we spotted two bright orange eyes staring at us through a thick undergrowth foliage - and i knew that we were looking at a feline at that moment. But due to the thick undergrowth we could not see it properly. The feline seem to know that we were there and continued to stay put at its position without moving. At this period of time we still have not identified this cat species until it suddenly moved and we saw a very long tail approximately about a meter long that we knew that it is a Clouded Leopard that we were looking at. The leopard move along the river and suddenly stop at a small opening as if it seems to be inspecting us - and in this split 10 seconds i saw it peering through the only opening of the undergrowth thicket i manage to shoot 7 frames hoping for the best - as never had my hands tremble when pressing the shutter - the feeling of seeing a Clouded Leopard in the wild was just too much at that moment. That 10 seconds went by quickly as the leopard continued moving back into the forest. We waited for another 10 minutes or so but it never came back out. 

This is the only one (i would say) 'decent' photo that i manage to capture and under the circumstances at that moment i will say that this is a success for me.

Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardii) - suspected to be a sub-adult (due mainly to size which seems to be slightly smaller than full grown adult). Captured on image along the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (N 05. 53' 84" E 118. 29' 56"). Population estimates in Sabah approximately about 1,500 - 3,200 individuals, with only 275 - 585 of them in large protected reserves. Status : Vulnerable (IUCN 2010)

Photo taken at 8:58 pm on 17 November 2010 with a Nikon D 300 + 70-300mm VR lens at ISO 1600,  f 4.5 built in flash on rear sync mode.


Sandakanbirds said...

adu pare.. so lucky my friend.. congratulation mark

Wai Yien said...

great stuff...

Green screen photography said...

Hello Mark, I think you were so lucky to capture a picture of a clouded Leopard in the wild. The picture was just amazing and I liked it a lot. I think it should have been an amazing experience for you. Please keep sharing some amazing experiences and pictures like this with everyone.

bum from The Beaufort said...

Rare of its kind, your'e so lucky my friend.

Altax said...

Excellent shot!!!

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Royalty Free Stock Photographs said...

Gorgeous photographs .One of the most difficult things is to let your pet hold still. An easy trick is to let him play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle. This will surprise him and caught his attention and you will have a few seconds to capture him in a nice and alert posture

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