A video has been released by an International wildlife organization Pathera Cats, of one of the least known and most elusive wild cats on earth – the African golden cat – hunting during daylight in Kibale National Park. This it says is the first of its kind to be captured in the world.
This new footage shows an African golden cat hunting red colobus monkeys gathered around and feeding on the dead wood of a tree stump.
It was recorded with a camera trap set by Samuel Angedakin, Kibale Project Manager for the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology’s Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee, in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
The African golden cat is found only in the forests of Central and West Africa, and grows to the size of a bobcat, weighing between 5-16 kilograms.
Very few western scientists have observed the living animal in the wild and almost all records of the African golden cat consist of photographs taken by remote camera traps, or of dead animals (usually killed by local hunters).
Today, this forest-dwelling species is threatened across its range by intensive bush meat hunting (the hunting of wild animals for meat) and loss of habitat due to deforestation.
Kibale Forest, where the golden cat is, remains the region’s top predator since the local extinction of the leopard.
“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,” says Panthera.
“Primatologists in Kibale have observed monkeys emitting alarm calls at golden cats on several occasions and, considering this latest evidence, it’s not hard to see why.”
Kaplan Scholar and graduate student, Laila Bahaa-el-din, notes “An adult red colobus monkey is a considerable opponent for an African golden cat. With the golden cat failing to make a fatal bite immediately on ambush; it had to make a hasty retreat.”
He added, “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.”
“It also portrays nicely why monkeys might mob a golden cat, as can be seen in the unique footage of a golden cat trying in vain to catch a cat nap while precariously perched in the fork of a tree.”