There are some animals that hold a special place in our hearts. From tigers to horses, we know about them from a young age and appreciate their majesty.
But there are other animals, however, that are so rare and magnificent that few have been lucky enough to know about them, much less see them. That’s certainly the case with the bay cats of Borneo who are so elusive, most have never even known of their existence…until now.
The fact that this mysterious big cat from Borneo was found at all is remarkable in its own right, but it doesn’t stop there. Just wait until you see this stunning animal for yourself…and learn what makes it special even among other bay cats!
Not only was this bay cat spotted on film about 40 miles outside of what is considered his native range, but these Bornean mammals are quite rare in general. They’re currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “endangered.”
The island of Borneo, which is largely made up of rainforests, currently holds fewer than 2,500 of these amazing creatures. Due to the threats posed by the increased loss of their habitat, their populations are expected to dwindle by 20 percent in 2020.
The bay cat caught on camera had a relatively unusual appearance when compared to the rest of his species. For reference, they usually have chestnut-colored fur and white streaks in their tails, like the one below.
Abujoy / Wikimedia Commons
So the fact that this special animal was discovered—and captured on film with such clarity—was truly remarkable. Bay cats are solitary in nature, nocturnal, and have a low population density, which already makes them exceedingly difficult to find.
That’s why scientists from Muhammadiyah University of Palangkaraya, the University of Exeter, and Oxford Brookes University set up more than 50 camera traps in 28 locations around Central Kalimantan in Borneo’s Rungan region.
It took nearly a month to finally get footage of this elusive creature. In order to protect him, though, his exact location is being kept confidential. The researchers didn’t want the wrong people getting their hands on him!
“There is still a lot we don’t know about the forests of Borneo and the clock is ticking,” the researchers said in a statement. “More surveys are needed to understand the distribution and ecological needs of Borneo’s wildlife if we are to save species on the brink of extinction.”
Just wait until you see this sleek feline in action. He almost looks like a cross between a black panther and some sort of giant monkey. You’re not going to want to miss this rare footage…
It may seem like a ridiculous amount of work went into finding just one cat, but that’s exactly what makes this story so remarkable. Hopefully this research will help the bay cats of Borneo survive!
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