Nikographer [Jon] 6:43pm, 23 December 2006
I just saw a news clip on CNN Headline News, they said the Mook the female clouded leopard escaped by chewing through the wire-mesh fence... WOW! And that they found her nearby within the Asia trail.

Does anyone have more information?

Mook - Takuma's photo:

Here's Tai(mine):
Clouded Leopard @ National Zoo

Nikographer [Jon] 10 years ago
Found an article:

Washington, D.C. - Mook, a 24-pound clouded leopard, escaped from her exhibit at the National Zoo Friday, forcing zookeepers to chase away early morning visitors and close the Northwest Washington site for about 30 minutes.

The great cat getaway upstaged Friday morning’s introduction of three new African lions to the media.

Zookeeper Jenny Spotten noticed the gray cat at about 7:10 a.m., sleeping next to her cage along the new $53 million Asian Trail exhibit, said spokesman John Gibbons. Spotten called in a “code green,” alerting zoo officials that an animal was out of its exhibit. Zoo police escorted about two dozen visitors and joggers out of the park and locked the gates while animal keepers surrounded the calm cat with nets and dart guns, Gibbons said.

A veterinarian shot Mook with a tranquilizer dart gun, putting her to sleep about 7:40 a.m. She was taken to an enclosed exhibit with her male companion, Tai, where they will remain until the zoo officials determine how she was able to escape from her completely enclosed, wire-mesh 20-foot-tall caged exhibit. No gates or doors were left open, he said.

The clouded leopard has the vanishing skills of David Copperfield and the grace and agility of Jackie Chan, according to the zoo’s Web site.

Clouded leopards have large, sharp-clawed paws, short legs and long tails that provide balance and enable them to track and eat monkeys, wild boar and orangutans.

Mook was last seen Thursday night by animal-keepers who were making their last rounds. Mook could have moved throughout the entire zoo, but apparently chose to stay near familiar surroundings, the place she knows where to find food and shelter, Gibbons said.

Mook and Tai were brought to the National Zoo in August for the October opening of the Asia Trail, the largest improvement to the zoo in 40 years.
TaiBoo~ 10 years ago
Last night on the news, they showed where the cats chewed thru the wire mesh. There was a hole that they have patched. The clouded leopards will not go back into the enclosure until they figure out a better way to contain them.
[Christine] PRO 10 years ago
Yeah! I heard about this too! I'm really glad they found her before something awful happened.
Slyck 10 years ago
Just read this on the post. Damn missed that photo-op! :)
Cynthia Longo PRO 10 years ago
Thanks for posting the article Jon! Another flickr member had mentioned this earlier, so it's nice to have the details. I am glad Mook was found, safe!
Nikographer [Jon] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Nikographer [Jon] (admin) 10 years ago
Headline News actually had an image of the hole in the wire...

Here's another story on
The Real NotHoney 10 years ago
It's interesting to me that even with all the "off exhibit" signs up in the clouded's habitat, people still ask us questions about what happened and are the cloudeds OK, do they attack people, etc. Here I thought this story got a boatload of coverage.

Photography by Jenna 10 years ago
I am glad she is ok too. I was at the zoo about a month ago and she barely wanted to come out of hiding inside. I was not lucky to get pictures of her, but did get some of Tia.
Bambi2001 10 years ago
Jon, I'm just glad that she's ok.
FlyingWolf Posted 10 years ago. Edited by FlyingWolf (member) 10 years ago
Yesterday they were putting up new wire. It looks like it's thicker, but there's not much to compare it to.

But I've also heard that Mook is on a pregnancy watch, so even when the installation is complete they will be off exhibit until either she has cubs or they determine it was a false pregnancy. (I was at the zoo the morning after their mating a few weeks ago and was told that she's had a false pregnancy before, so really won't know for a while. Also, because they are so endangered they would take the cubs away so mom doesn't raise them to be wild. A second more recent conversation confirmed the pregnancy watch, but said the reason they would take the cubs is because adults in captivity will often kill the cubs.)
Groups Beta