Phnom Penh (dpa) – A rare wild cat was photographed in Cambodia for
the first time in more than a decade, local media reported on Friday.
Camera traps snapped evidence of three fishing cats living in coastal
Cambodia in a project by the Cambodian Centre for Biodiversity, the
Phnom Penh Post reported.
“This is a remarkable discovery as fishing cats are very vulnerable
to human persecution,” Ret Thaun, project director of Fauna and Flora
International, said in a statement.
Fauna and Flora International is one of the organizations behind the
CBC, along with Royal Phnom Penh University.
The fishing cat – a stocky wild feline around twice the size of a
domestic cat – was declared endangered in 2008 by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature, and was feared
extinct in the Mekong area until now.
It is threatened by the destruction of wetlands and mangrove swamps,
its traditional habitat where it hunts fish to survive.
It is already believed to be extinct in Vietnam and Laos, although it
can still be found in parts of India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
In Cambodia, the main threat to the fishing cats are nearby human
populations, who kill the cat for meat or because they damage
fisherman’s nets, according to Fauna and Flora International.
The NGO said that it plans to work with communities near the cat
sightings to educate them about the endangered animal.