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The African Cat You’ve Never Heard Of

I was used to working in the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa, where the animals I studied roamed in full sight. I was used to the relative comfort and safety of getting around in a 4×4, and my camera went everywhere with me.

afrgoudcat1Then, in 2010, I arrived in the Central African country of Gabon to begin my study on African golden cats in and around Ivindo and Lopé National Parks. For the first few days, I stubbornly kept my camera with me, but soon realised that it was slowing me down.

I could no longer rest it on my lap as I scanned the horizon. I had to carry it for nine hours a day as I surveyed the humid forest on foot, and I had to be ready for a hasty retreat in case I stumbled upon elephants – quite easy to do when visibility is restricted to a few metres by thick vegetation.

Read the complete article:
http://magazine.africageographic.com/weekly/issue-41/african-golden-cat-gabon/

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Cat of the month

Jaguarondi (Herpailurus Yagouaroundi)

The jaguarundi (Herpailurus Yaguarondi) is a medium-sized wild cat. Not related to the jaguar, though the name seems to say otherwise, but it’s closely related to the cougar (puma) and also to the cheetah. It has short legs and an appearance somewhat like an otter; the ears are short and rounded. The coat is unspotted, uniform in colour, and varying from blackish to brownish grey (grey phase) or from foxy red to chestnut (red phase). The cat’s ranges from Southern Texas to South America.

As this cat is closely related to the much larger and heavier cougar, evident by its similar genetic structure and chromosome count count, the jaguarundi is also said to be in the genus Puma although it is more often classified under a separate genus, Herpailurus. Until recently both cats were classified under the genus Felis.

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