Critically endangered jungle cat seen in Chiang Mai sanctuary

Photo: Parinya Padungtin

A rare species of wild cat has been proven to still exist in a wildlife sanctuary in Northern Thailand, where the beautiful creature was captured by an unmanned camera.

Parinya Padungtin, a wildlife photographer, shared the astonishing photo on his Facebook on Saturday. He has had a camera running continually for over a month in Chaing Mai’s Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary, and the effort paid off when he captured this image of the curious jungle cat.

The jungle cat, sometimes locally called a “rabbit tiger,” is said to be the rarest wild feline in Thailand. They are the size of domestic cats, and have pointy, furry ears that remind some people of rabbits.

Native to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and some parts of the Middle East, they face hunting threats and habitat destruction, and are considered to be critically endangered. This photo is exciting proof that the cats still find homes in the northern wild.

Parinya gave credit to Jirat Kham-ai, a researcher at Chiang Dao Wildlife Research Station, who discovered two years ago that the jungle cats are not extinct in Thailand.  

 

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