Published: November 28th 2006November 9th 2006 Off to See Clouded Leopards!
This is a photo of Clouded leopard cubs born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in 2004.
It's official - Wendy, Karen and I are headed to Thailand and Vietnam on December 3.
We just met to discuss some of the details of the trip. We'll be visiting with WildAid staff in the Tam Dao National Park in Vietnam for a couple of days. We'll also be heading out to Khao Yai National Park in Thailand (outside of Bangkok) for quite a few days. Karen and Wendy are bringing a big box of biofacts and curriculum materials for a teacher workshop we're supporting in Thailand. In the box are a variety of great educational tools, including biofacts like replicas of Clouded leopard skulls. That should be fun to try to bring through customs!!!
I'm a comfortable international traveler, but I'm already getting ready to be the biggest wimp on our trip. I have never traveled with zookeepers before. I spend most of my day at the zoo working behind a computer or visiting with donors. Leech Socks
Karen cheerfully offered up that she has an extra pair of "leech socks" if one of us wants to borrow them. I asked her if we would be walking through mud pits, and
Raja the Clouded leopard
Raja is the male Clouded leopard in residence at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. He is the father of Rama and Kwan Jai, the two cubs born at the zoo in 2004.
she said not exactly.
"Actually, the leeches live in the forest," she told us. "As you're hiking down a path, they may be lying flat on the ground, but when you stop they almost seem to lift their head, look at you, and inch towards you as fast as possible."
Leech socks go up your shins, over your pant legs and down over the tops of your shoes to prevent leeches from crawling up your pants. Karen says that even with leech socks on, you may end up taking your pants off at the end of the day and discover blood running down your legs. EW. She says this all quite cheerily. I am a wimp!
Oh. Leeches. Don't tell anyone, but I think I'm afraid of leeches.