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Very Rare African Golden Cat Caught on Camera

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People may be more familiar with lions and tigers but there's another feline predator that many are not even aware exists, the African golden cat.

One reason why the animal is seldom seen and heard of is because of its reclusive habits, making it rarely photographed. However, scientists have recently taken footage of this hunter while it was attempting to take down a monkey.

Conservation group Panthera, which released the video, said that the clip is possibly the first video to be taken of the African golden cat hunting in the daylight. Scientists tend to rely on motion-activated night cameras and still photography in order to know how this spotted predator follows its prey.

The team of scientists who captured the video originally set a trap camera to capture footage of primates in a national Park in Uganda and was lucky enough to capture the sleek and spotted predator hunting red colobus monkeys while these primates were feeding on dead wood at the Kibale National Park.

Another video of a golden cat slumbering in a tree was also taken at the Kalinzu Forest Reserve in Uganda, which shows monkeys that surround and harass the cat until it descends from the top.

"Watching a golden cat in full ambush of large monkeys in this video provides hunting details we could previously only piece together from brief sightings," said Kaplan Scholar Laila Bahaa-el-din. "It also portrays nicely why monkeys might mob a golden cat."

The African golden cat, which can only be found in the forests of West and Central Africa and weighs between 5 and 16 kilograms, is elusive. Only a small number of western scientists were able to observe it in the wild. Records of the animal are also mostly of dead animals that were killed by local hunters and those that were taken by remote camera traps.

It was not until 2002 when the first photo of the living African golden cat in the wild was taken by a camera trap that was set by Panthera Lion Program Survey Coordinator Philipp Henschel.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the cat, whose size is comparable to bobcats twice the size of the domestic cat, as a threatened species. The forest-dwelling hunters are threatened because of bushmeat hunting and loss of habitat because of deforestation.

Below are rare videos of the African golden cat:

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