ยินดีต้อนรับ - Welcome

Wildlife Thailand is a community website for sharing information, photographs and experiences on Thailand's wildlife, nature and protected areas in order to help everyone have the opportunity to explore Thailand’s outstanding wildlife and National Parks.

Vinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo Slider
THAILAND - HOME TO INCREDIBLE BIO-DIVERSITY
THAILAND - BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL PARKS & SANCTUARIES
THAILAND - HOME TO THE RAREST OF WILDLIFE
THAILAND - HOME TO AMAZING ARTHROPODS

Wildlife and National Parks of Thailand

5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 5.00

I decided to spend a few days down at Kaeng Krachan before it shuts next week for the rainy season, we had a great time including one of the most amazing leopard experiences of my life. This male allowed us to view him for about 20 minutes whilst he slinked in and out of the undergrowth curiously looking at my parked car.

Kaeng Krachan Leopard

A wild male Leopard in Kaeng Krachan National Park.

 

 

   

A truly unforgetable trip and I am truly thankful that we were this lucky to see this gorgeous feline alive and well in its natural environment. I really never thought I would ever see, let alone photograph the leopard in Thailand. It just goes to show there is no replacement for time spent in the forest and most of all luck!! 

Richard L Stokes

__________________________________________

Article and Photographs copyright Richard L Stokes


Posted: 26 Jul 2013 00:10 by admin #1170
admin's Avatar
Wow, Wow and Wow! What an incredible sighting, what an incredible picture, second shot is the best leopard pic I have seen from Thailand - well done!!! Am well chuffed for you.

Here I was planning a year in KK to get a leopard pic as well. No need now, you have nailed it there Luke. Incredible!
Posted: 26 Jul 2013 05:07 by Jos- #1171
Jos-'s Avatar
Amazing! Extremely rare sight! Congrats! According to my understanding the number of big cats has decreased significantly within few years due to poaching in KK. Was this taken along the main road? How long will the park be closed?
Posted: 26 Jul 2013 06:58 by Bagheera #1172
Bagheera's Avatar
admin ; thankyou for the compliments, they mean a lot coming from a fellow photographer. As I took the photos I was was aware of the rarity of the occasion and I was fearful something was wrong with the camera or settings. Inbetween the leopard going in and out of the bushes I was frantically checking each time to make sure the shots had come out! I will probably never get an opportunity like this again..

Jos ; Thanks again! According to my understanding, some professionals in the field, and the rangers at KK, the leopard population is doing OK. I am led to believe it is in fact the Tigers numbers which have dropped significantly in recent years at KK.
Yes the photo was taken along the road, if the leopard was anywhere other than the main road I vary much doubt me or anyone would be able to spot him!
The park is closed 1st August to 31st October
Posted: 26 Jul 2013 07:34 by Bagheera #1173
Bagheera's Avatar
The afternoon began rather slowly, after walking the trails around the Baan Krang Ranger station all morning I had had a substantial lunch and was rather sleepy when I started the drive up to Panern Tung . A pretty uneventful drive up I made it to the summit and the weather was atrocious, driving rain and inpenetrable clouds meant we couldnt see anything and to be quite honest did'nt even want to leave the car. It was only 3pm though and so we had an hour to kill before we could begin the descent back down. So I thought lets drive down to the Thor Tip waterfall carpark just to see if we can see anything on the way and to kill some time.
The weather was so bad I had to have the windows up, however just as we approached the KM36 marker and rounded a right hand corner there in the road were 2 Southern Serow, by the look of it a mother and calf but before I could even get the camera in my hand let alone take a shot the pesky things scampered off the road and over a seemingly vertical edge. I confess I didn't know what they were immediately and had to confide in my Mammals of Thailand Handbook for a correct identification.

With some newfound optimism in me after at least seeing something living we wandered on back up to Panern tung not long after 4 o clock. After chewing the fat with the rangers up there for 10 mins I decided to go back down, the weather was still horrendous at this point and sure enough about 20 mins into the drive back there was a big tree gone down right across the trail. Now I knew we were the last truck so there was no one behind us who might be able to help/advise us on what to do. So we u-turned ( just about managed it as the track was pretty narrow) and went back to Panern Tung to summon up the lads and their chainsaw. After they nourished the machine back to working order, they informed me that their motorbike was broken so I would have to run them back to Panern Tung again after they had finished removing the tree. " No problem" I said but lets get moving as I am going to be pretty late getting back by this stage.
So we get to the blockage, they have it down and removed in about 20 mins. I run them back to the station again and begin what I hope to be the last drama of the day as it is 5.30pm, its really dark and I dont know if there are any more trees further on. No such dramas and we continue on..

Shortly before 6pm, and just as the rain has started to ease we round a steep left hand bend and there 60-70 metres in front of us is a Indochinese Leopard. I quickly turn the engine off and " shssshhh" my girlfriend. It is lying on the road and notices us, he then gets up and heads for the undergrowth before popping its head out on multiple occasions to check on the strangers on his turf. The leopard then starts to move towards us as if checking us out all thew while going in and out of view as he skirts the fringes of visibility. I manage to fire of some shots out of the window but I am hideously contorted round the frame of the car trying to get the right angle, luckily it seems a few have come out. We stay for 20-25 mins before he finally leaps down the cliffside leaving us completely speechless and flabbergasted at what we have just witnessed/experienced.
It was then a surreal drive back down to Baan Krang and on and out of the park by 7pm.
A truly unforgettable time and more than the photos will ever mean to me is the knowledge that this most beautiful, majestic cat survives and continues to exist despite many factors in the jungles here in Thailand. I slept very well that night!

Some more shots of him..







Posted: 27 Jul 2013 03:55 by admin #1176
admin's Avatar
Simply amazing. If I ever have an experience half of yours I will be a very happy man.
Posted: 28 Jul 2013 12:31 by onflipflops #1179
onflipflops's Avatar
Absolutely amazing pictures! As Paul said, these are some of the best pics I've seen of a wild Leopard in Thailand.
I've got some reasonable shots from Africa, but Africa is for beginners. Thailand is the real thing! Thick jungle with low numbers of magnificent elusive large cats. Just to see one is so incredibly special, to return home with these pictures... impossible!

Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 29 Jul 2013 19:47 by Painted Jezebel #1180
Painted Jezebel's Avatar
Truely awesome photos. Thank you very much. I concentrate on arthropods, and usually make too much noise crashing through the undergrowth to see mammals and also my time of activity is during the heat of the day, so it is always a delight to see these. I am very jealous!
Posted: 31 Jul 2013 01:01 by Bagheera #1181
Bagheera's Avatar
Thanks again for the compliments guys!
They are much appreciated.
Do any of you have any estimates as to his age? I have only ever seen African and Indian leopards so its difficult to gauge this fella but I was thinking 2-3 years.. whaddya reckon?
Posted: 02 Aug 2013 01:18 by onflipflops #1185
onflipflops's Avatar
I'm no expert on Leopards, and have zero experience with Asian specimens. But judging from its face, size (though I guess in Indochinese Leopards the size is probably not as large as in Africa) and the lack of scars it does appear to be a relatively young specimen. I would guess your estimation of 2 - 3 years would not be far off.

I've seen some old guys in Africa that probably had to deal with a lot more competition than might be the case in the Asian forests but they actually looked terrible, haha. Once, I was looking at one resting up in a tree in Kruger that had lost one ear. While waiting for it to 'wake up' and leave the tree, all of a sudden at the other side of the river, an even bigger male showed up that had lost an eye, but still appeared to be well-fed. It was the biggest leopard I have ever seen. And with only one eye also one of the scariests...

IMO the beauty you photographed is just too perfect to be much older than 2 - 3 years, but I might be wrong...

All the best!
Posted: 04 Aug 2013 00:36 by Bagheera #1190
Bagheera's Avatar
Thanks Onflipflops, you pretty much summed up what I was thinking. One thing I forgot to mention as to why I thought he was a young'un is that he showed such interest in my parked truck that I thought no seasoned campaigner would behave in such a manner.

You make a good point on the rigours of fighting off competition making life a little more tough for the African leopards compared to their asian cousins. One time in Sabi Sands we saw a 11 year old leopard have a stand-off and subsequent chase of a much younger 3-4 year old leopard. The difference in size and appearance was so great it was almost like a separate species! The old boy still came out on top though!
Posted: 10 Aug 2013 09:24 by Bagheera #1217
Bagheera's Avatar
Forgot I had this photo, here is the young fella with an unfortunate gibbon he appeared to have killed before I arrived..



[File Attachment: Leopard.gibbon1.jpg]
Posted: 10 Aug 2013 13:20 by onflipflops #1220
onflipflops's Avatar
Wow! That's special! I wonder how he has been able to catch the little gibbon. It was late in the afternoon, right? So the gibbons must have been sleeping by that time. But then even more surprising that he has caught only the baby and not the mother... Or maybe he did...

I know Leopards are good climbers, but still surprising they manage to catch one of the fastest animals in the tree tops. Really must have caught it by surprise.

Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 11 Aug 2013 00:05 by trekker #1222
trekker's Avatar
How fantastic! Who would have thought it? Next time I sit under a fruiting tree I will be more attentive!


Heres a web excerpt ....

There are a number of potential predators of adult or infant lar gibbons. These may include clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), marbled cats (Pardofelis marmorata), Asian golden cats (Catopuma temmincki), leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), pythons (Python sp.), hawk eagle species (Spizaetus sp.), black eagles (Ictinaetus malayensis), and crested sepent eagles (Spilornis cheela) (Reichard 1998; Uhde & Sommer 2002). White-bellied sea eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) are also capable of taking a lar gibbon (Ellefson 1974). Lar gibbons may mob and chase off potential predators (Reichard 1998; Uhude & Sommer 2002).

Source: Primate Info Net
Posted: 11 Aug 2013 11:39 by Bagheera #1226
Bagheera's Avatar
Yes it was late afternoon and I guess perfectly possible that he managed to ambush a sleeping group of gibbons, I agree it is still absolutely incredible that they can actually catch these extremely agile apes in the treetops. I too was pretty suprised!
But if we think about the Leopard then is anything really suprising? they are known across their range to take prey as diverse as Wildebeest, gazelle, baboons, monkeys,antelopes, snakes, birds, crocodiles, jackals,hares, other cat species, gibbons, lizards, insects, rodents, feral dogs. The hunting prowess and adaptability is simply amazing and I wonder If there is any other animal that can get close to this range of potential prey?? Quite incredible and testament to a quite exceptional product of evolution..

There are a number of potential predators of adult or infant lar gibbons. These may include clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), marbled cats (Pardofelis marmorata), Asian golden cats (Catopuma temmincki), leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), pythons (Python sp.), hawk eagle species (Spizaetus sp.), black eagles (Ictinaetus malayensis), and crested sepent eagles (Spilornis cheela) (Reichard 1998; Uhde & Sommer 2002). White-bellied sea eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) are also capable of taking a lar gibbon (Ellefson 1974). Lar gibbons may mob and chase off potential predators (Reichard 1998; Uhude & Sommer 2002).

Good info! I guess the gibbons are not massive fans of Felines then!! Still difficult to picture a gibbon being plucked out of the branches unless it walked straight into an ambush or maybe I am underestimating cats arboreal skills..!
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 04:23 by Xenocrab #1240
Xenocrab's Avatar
Any chance of a higher-rez close-up of the primates face, could it be a langur?
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 05:40 by Bagheera #1241
Bagheera's Avatar
xenocrab, I don't think the site takes raw files but I have zoomed in on the original image and I believe you may be correct. Initially I could not see a tail so I assumed it was a Gibbon, also I had seen a troop of gibbons in this area the same day as this photo.
However after zooming in on the face I am now not convinced. I suppose the tail could be hidden behind the body and looking at the face close in it does appear to more resemble a langur's as you have suggested.
Well observed!!
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 12:18 by onflipflops #1243
onflipflops's Avatar
It's funny that when I saw the pic for the first time I did think the little primate's face was on the left of the Leopard's nose. The fact that it did not seemed to have a black-skinned face made me doubt that it was a gibbon. But looked at the picture again and decided not to post my doubts, because I thought it was maybe an optical illusion and thought it was in fact the Leopard's front paw with spotted pattern (out of focus) looking like a little face.
But do I understand correctly that it's indeed the face on the left of the Leopard's nose and not a paw?

In that case I'm quite sure it isn't a gibbon face. But not sure what it could be. I have little knowledge about Langurs, but it does seem to have the white 'glasses' like a Dusky Langur.

But in the end it's anyway a very special picture/ sighting.
Posted: 16 Aug 2013 04:31 by trekker #1244
trekker's Avatar
Interesting - it does not seem the correct colour for any of KKs langurs nor langur infants - maybe a stump tailed macaque infant? Colour (from what I can see on the shot) would match a stump tailed macaque infant. In which case it could have been taken low down, on the ground or death by other means.
Posted: 16 Aug 2013 05:30 by Xenocrab #1246
Xenocrab's Avatar
I was once told by a very prominent gibbon researcher here in Thailand that he had never seen a predator take a baby gibbon in 30 years, so that’s what made me wonder how this leopard could do it. It looks like a juvenile spectacled langur to me, once which has already progressed into adult colours. Nevertheless, what an amazing set of photographs!
Posted: 16 Aug 2013 10:06 by Bagheera #1251
Bagheera's Avatar
Interesting indeed, although from Trekker's earlier link it does appear that leopards( and a number of other felines) are known to take both adult and infant gibbons..
However, In this case it appears I was too hasty to announce the dead primate as a gibbon and I find myself leaning towards xenocrab's conclusion of a sub-adult langur.
However Trekker's observations are also correct, it has neither that infant orange colour nor the darker colouration of an adult langur which is where the sub-adult conclusion may fit in..
Im not sure about a stump talied macaque either, it doesnt appear to have that reddish face the macaques have. juvenile could be an option but Im not really experienced enough to make a call..
Let's just say that the only thing we know for certain is that it is dead and that I was very lucky to witness this!!

Pic of the Month

Picture of the Month

Post a photo in our forums and you can win a free tee shirt!

Members Galleries

Search the Site