Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rare footage of elusive golden cat attacking a pangolin


Footage courtesy of Chester Zoo/Gashaka Biodiversity Project.

Camera traps set up to monitor chimpanzees in Nigeria's Gashaka Gumti National Park have captured rare footage of the elusive African golden cat attacking a pangolin.

Scott Wilson, Head of Field Conservation and Research at Chester Zoo, told BBC Nature: "The golden cat is the least known of Africa's felids, so any additional information and footage of it is exciting."

Africa's golden cat was caught on camera for the first time in 2002 and this is the first time it has been caught on camera in Gashaka Gumti National Park.

The cat leaps upon the pangolin, a long-tailed mammal covered in scaly armoured plates. But the pangolin then appears to escape by curling into a ball, a defensive posture, and rolling away, before the cat returns to inspect its potential prey.

It adds to the limited understanding of this rarely seen jungle cat, strongly suggesting that pangolin are a prey item. "Camera traps can tend to take a lot of video with nothing on... so when a rare species turns up it is always exciting - when they are exhibiting interesting behaviours, doubly so," Mr Wilson said.

Visit Chester Zoo's Nigeria Conservation Programme website to find out more.

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