Summit Up 1-22-2012: Where we’re disappointed leopards don’t live on clouds |

Summit Up 1-22-2012: Where we’re disappointed leopards don’t live on clouds

Summit Up

Special to the Daily/Denver Zoo

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s back with another edition of Animals that Could Eat You.

Today we will be exploring the mysteries of cloud leopards, which despite what their name suggests, are not leopards and don’t actually live on clouds (we were disappointed, too). They do, however, have these weird bubble-like spot thingies that we guess kind of look like clouds, which still isn’t as cool as having a cloud-based natural habitat, but at least kind of justifies the name.

Anyway, four of these little tigers …

Super official zoo manager people: Yeah, they’re not tigers, either.

Summit Up: Okay, okay, four of these adorable predatory cats arrived at the Denver Zoo this month from Florida and are making themselves at home in the zoo’s Toyota Elephant Passage – another name that doesn’t really make any sense since the place apparently houses cats rather than Toyotas or elephants. But who are we to judge?

Anyway, sez here:

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“The first two leopards to arrive were 10-year-old females Tenchi and Mattie. Both arrived from the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla. The other two leopards are cubs, less than a year old. They are female, Lisu (Lee-soo), from Nashville Zoo and male, Taji (Tah-jee), from Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Wash. Both cubs arrived under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the hopes they will breed when they are older. Zoos participate in SSPs to ensure healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Lisu and Taji will live separately from Tenchi and Mattie as they are a breeding pair. Breeding pairs are often strongly bonded to each other and not interested in sharing space with other cats.”

Which, we understand, the non-leopard leopard cubs informed the zoo keepers discreetly over a private cup of coffee before their move to Denver.

Moving on.


Well, as we’re writing this column on Saturday this big huge helluva 16-inch snowstorm we were supposed to get this weekend still hasn’t delivered much other than some more wind and this extraordinarily depressing icy rain stuff, which our East Coaster colleagues say is called sleet. We hope as you read this over coffee and muffins Sunday morning Ullr has come through for us and the county is looking all white and wintery again.

We out.