Watch Clouded Leopard Kittens Trundle Through the Borneo Jungle

There’s a well-known behavioral resemblance between big cats and house cats. If you’ve ever seen video of a lioness stalking an antelope, it’s evident the first time you watch Socks target a grasshopper. 

Here’s the latest case of how all cats resemble each other. It’s the first known film in the wild of a family of Bornean clouded leopards — endangered jungle cats with proportionally the longest canine teeth of any cat species worldwide. 

Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) canines can reach five centimeters long. It’s a shocking weapon based on a mature specimen’s modest size. The teeth are the same size as a tiger’s, even though tigers are 10 times bigger.

The two cubs in this footage, though? They bounce around the underbrush in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park like tabby kittens on an IKEA rug. 

A gotcha moment

The Orangutan Foundation captured the quick clip with a camera trap, and framed it as a good sign for the Bornean clouded leopard’s limited population. Video of the species in the wild already existed — but not of a mother and cubs. 

Habitat loss and poaching threaten the cats, according to Few Bornean clouded leopards reach breeding age, making the footage much more encouraging. 

“The clouded leopard is an arboreal species and excellent hunter on the ground that plays an important role in maintaining the ecosystem,” research manager A. Yoga Perdana said in a press release. “As one of the rarest species, being able to see a female and cubs gives us evidence that they are healthy and actively breeding.” 

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson spent his 20s as an adventure rock climber, scampering throughout the western U.S., Mexico, and Thailand to scope out prime stone and great stories. Life on the road gradually transformed into a seat behind the keyboard, where he acted as a founding writer of the AllGear Digital Newsroom and earned 1,500+ bylines in four years on topics from pro rock climbing to slingshots and scientific breakthroughs.