Rare cat spotted at Phu Khieo sanctuary
An Asiatic golden cat was photographed at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary on Nov 6, officials at the sanctuary revealed on Tuesday.
The rare feline, which is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a "near-threatened" species, is known to inhabit the forests of China, India and peninsular Southeast Asia.
A picture of the cat, taken by Jirawan Klaithong, was uploaded onto the sanctuary's Facebook page on Tuesday.
The medium-sized wild cat is marked by its reddish-brown fur, and generally weighs between 12-15 kilogrammes. The Asiatic golden cat is primarily a nocturnal species that hunts birds and hares but is known to sometimes prey on small ungulates such as young muntjac and sambar deers.
According to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, the Asiatic golden cat was listed on the IUCN's "near-threatened" species list due to habitat loss and human hunting.
The wild cat also appears in the Appendix I list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which lists species that need the highest level of protection, such as Asian elephants, orangutans, and crocodiles, the department added.
According to the Division of Wild Fauna and Flora Protection website, the cats may only be traded for research and conservation purposes. Any commercial trade of Asiatic golden cats is forbidden.