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Conservation news mongabay.com 23 Nov, 2021 03:15 am

In search of Taiwan's lost clouded leopards, anthropology uncovers more than camera traps (commentary)

In search of Taiwan's lost clouded leopards, anthropology uncovers more than camera traps (commentary)
Environmental science and conservation news

Indigenous folklore says that the Taiwan’s — likely extinct — clouded leopard species led two human brothers to a heavenly place 600 years ago.Have you heard the Taiwanese Indigenous folklore about the island’s clouded leopard species — Lrikulaw — who led two human brothers to a heavenly place 600 years ago?” Semantically, the pastor said, it means “something gets painted (with coal), which indirectly refers to the coat of the beautiful cat, the Formosan clouded leopard.” The pastor also pointed out that the actual animal in the Lrikulaw legend could be a dog (which are roughly the same size as a clouded leopard), and the name is to glorify its important role as a human companion.

Something very similar is likely to have happened with the Formosan clouded leopard during the 50-year Japanese occupation of Taiwan, when Indigenous hunters were paid bounties by their Japanese masters to head into the mountains and fetch clouded leopard pelts (the closest thing to a tiger that Taiwan has, or had) for decorative and egotistical purposes.Tiger capturers could bring skins of non-tigers such as leopards and clouded leopard, labeled as “small” or “young tigers” in the official reports, which would not be differentiated from “real tigers,” and still won a good deal of reward.

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