Clouded Leopard, Merriweather, Toronto Zoo

A grand old lady

This is Merriweather, Toronto Zoo’s venerable Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa); every other time I’ve visited her, she’s been asleep – this was a rare opportunity to see her moving about. When you’re as old as this Clouded Leopard, you’re entitled to a bit of rest! A typical life-span for a Clouded Leopard in captivity is apparently a little over a decade; Merriweather was almost…

Raccoon, Procyon lotor

My first raccoon

As most people know, the raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a very common animal all over North America; in the days before leaving the UK, I had even read an article (In BBC Wildlife magazine) explaining that not only were they very common, but the ones in the Toronto area were, on average, larger than the regular ones and had an extra offspring each season….

American, Red, Squirrel

Cootes Paradise

Cootes Paradise (possibly an egregious missing apostrophe there?) is a rather lovely wetland near Hamilton; it is looked after by the Royal Botanical Gardens, although it is a semi-wild landscape. In the not too distant past, the wetlands were badly damaged by pollution, excessive human use and also by the damage caused by the introduced carp from Lake Ontario. Happily, in more recent years…