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African Golden Cat (Profelis aurata)

The African Golden Cat (Profelis aurata) is a medium-sized wild cat distributed over the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is about 80 cm (31.5 inches) long, and has a tail of about 30 cm (approximately one foot) in length. It is a close relative of both the Caracal and the Serval. However, current classification places it as the only member of the genus Profelis.

Due to its extremely hidden living style, not much is known about this cat’s behaviour.

The African Golden Cat is able to climb, but hunts primarily on the ground. Prey includes rodents, birds and monkeys. It also hunts duiker and even the Giant Forest Hog.

 

 

 

 

The African Golden Cat has variable fur colour. Fur is typically cinnamon or reddish brown in colour, but there also exist black or grey colour variants. The fur is sometimes spotted, while other animals have plain fur.

Body length usually varies within the range 61-100 cm (24-40 inches). Tail length varies within the range 16-46 cm (6.5-18 inches), and shoulder height is about 38-55 cm (about 1-2 feet). Male specimens weigh in the range 11-14 kg (24- 31 lbs) whilst the only recorded weight of a female specimen was 6.2 kg (13.7 lbs).

Overall, the African Golden Cat resembles the Caracal, but has shorter ears.

Subspecies
a.. Profelis aurata aurata
b.. Profelis aurata cottoni
The African Golden Cat is similar to the Asian Golden Cat, but studies indicate that the reason is convergent evolution.

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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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