is one of the least known of our Wild
Cats are endemic to the small island of Borneo in the Indonesian
Islands where the recent tsunami caused one of the greatest
losses of human life known to man. It is still hard to
tell the extent of damage for all Indonesian wildlife.
Many believe the animals escaped mostly unharmed and credit
their survival to the animal's sixth sense which forwarned
them of the earthquake and tsunami disaster. It is amazing that between the
of 1855 to 1928 only six specimens were collected by scientists
for study. Most biological data available on this species
comes from five skins and two skulls in natural history museums
in Europe. In fact they are so rare, the first photograph
of a live Bornean Bay Cat was taken in 1988 by a BBC photographer
it was the first picture ever published of this Wild Cat.
Average size is about that of a large house cat. Bornean
Bay Cats have dark chestnut, red fur with black markings
with lighter golden brown fur on their undersides and limbs.
Another color variation is darker fur with a bluish-gray
hue to their coat. They have short, rounded head and ears,
dark greyish-brown in color with two dark prominent stripes
running from the corner of each eye. The back of their
head has a dark "M" shaped marking. Body proportions
and extremely long tail give it somewhat the appearance
of our New World, Jaguarandi.
It has been always been questioned whether
the Bay Cat was a separate sub-species or an island version of
the Asian Golden Cat. In 1992 a female Bornean Bay Cat was caught
on the Sarawak border near Kalimantan and taken to the Sarawak
Museum. The cat later died in captivity but was preserved and
detail blood analysis and genetic testing proved this cat was
indeed a unique species and therefore a highly endangered one.
Its teeth are unlike any other cat, with its first upper premolar
smaller and having only one root in the gum and opposed to the
two roots found in other cats.
ANIMAL WEB CAMS
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