Poachers pictured laughing with body of rare leopard that they'd butchered
Photos of poachers posing and laughing with the slain carcass of a leopard surfaced on social media, and people have been reacting furiously to the images.
The pictures were shared on social media by a now-deleted account called Max Mantra, who reported they were taken in the western region Negeri Sembilan, and the leopard slain was the clouded leopard, one of the most endangered species in the world.
The photos were then picked up by Siva Nadarajan, who said that the men pictured were from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force. He also tried to report the poachers, but it's unclear whether or not his report got through to the right people.
Here's what the National Geographic has to say about the clouded leopard:
"This beautiful Asian cat, named for its spotted coat, is seldom seen in the wild, and its habits remain a bit mysterious. Clouded leopards roam the hunting grounds of Asia from the rain forests of Indonesia to the foothills of the Nepali Himalayas.
Though clouded leopards are great climbers, scientists believe that they do most of their hunting on the ground, feasting on deer, pigs, monkeys, and smaller fare such as squirrels or birds. They are aided in their hunting by the largest canine teeth (proportionate to body size) of any wild cat.
Scientists are not sure exactly how clouded leopards act in the wild. They are probably solitary animals, like most cats. Females give birth to a litter of one to five cubs every year, and the young leopards remain dependent upon their mother for about ten months."
Here's a video of a totally adorable clouded leopard cub:
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the clouded leopard is classified as a "vulnerable" species, with around 10,000 of the species in the wild. The cat has been extinct in Taiwan and Singapore reportedly for decades.