Scientists captured the first video footage in existence of the elusive African golden cat recently, one of the least known and most mysterious cats in the world.
The cat was recorded by a camera trap during daylight hours in Kibale National Park, Uganda. In the footage, the cat hunts red colobus monkeys who are gathered around to feed on a dead wood tree stump.
“It is an exciting and rare glimpse into the world of this fascinating cat,” David Mills, a Kaplan scholar and graduate student, said. “We know a lot more about golden cats than we did a few years ago and yet we still know almost nothing about their behavior.”
Mills added that monkeys who have been observed in Kibale often sound alarm calls when an African gold cat is nearby, and the latest video of the cat explains why.
However, Mills added that three colobus monkeys are a match for the cat, which is why the cat immediately leaves after its first unsuccessful bite at one of the monkeys.
“With the golden cat failing to make a fatal bite immediately on ambush, it had to make a hasty retreat,” Mills said. “[The video] also portrays nicely why monkeys might mob a golden cat.”
The video follows recently released pictures portraying African golden kittens for the first time, suggesting that mothers of two colorings can product kittens of both red-brown and grey.
The African golden cat can weigh up to 35 pounds and is the most secretive cat in the world. It’s only found in central and west Africa and is rarely seen.