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Reality of Nature

This picture from the Mara Cheetah project shows the reality of nature. This leopard killed the cheetah and is actually treating it like any other prey: hanging it in the tree and eating it. The strength of a leopard, leaving no chance to eat and food go to waste, even if this means (or even so!) eating another predator.

maracheetaproject

It is difficult to see, also for us working with/for both species, but we have to be realistic here too. It shouldn’t affect us more than any other prey animal that gets killed and hang in the tree to serve for dinner, but it still does? It is luckily an unusual sight, not happening too often, but with the cheetah having difficulties to survive in the wild we hope this will stay a rare occasion. Even though we also agree: the leopard has to eat (every coin has two sides)!

 

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Cat of the month

Borneo Bay Cat (Pardofelis Badia)

One of the world’s least-known and most endangered wild cats, the bay cat, has been photographed by Panthera grantees Jedediah Brodie (Universiti Malaysia Sabah/ University of British Columbia) and Anthony Giordano (S.P.E.C.I.E.S/Texas Tech University). Their photograph is the first record of this very elusive cat in the Borneo highlands, at 1460 meters (approximately 4,800 feet).

The records add to our very limited knowledge of the species, which was photographed alive for the first time only in 1998 and where most previous records are from dense lowland forest under 800 meters (approximately 2,600 feet).

Borneo’s bay cat is so elusive that it took over a century before researchers got a chance to study a live one in detail. Covered in striking, rust-red fur with white under the tail and face stripes, this cat was officially named in 1874 on the basis of a skull and torn skin sent to England by the famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Naturalists didn’t have a chance to study a live one until a bay cat was captured in 1992, and the cat remains so difficult to find that researchers know very little about how this secretive cat actually lives. The fact that the cat is so difficult to find is all the more frustrating because conservationists list the felid as endangered. The deforestation of Borneo may wipe out the bay cat before scientists get a chance to find out more about it.

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