With climate change and habitat destruction extirpating so many species from our planet, it’s rare that we see the needle move in the opposite direction.
But, give a cat and a fox a few years to work on it, and they’ll find a solution.
A new species, possibly a cross-breed between a cat and a fox, has recently been spotted on the island of Corsica. According to CNN, wildlife rangers from France’s National Hunting and Wildlife Office have identified 16 of the animals prowling the island.
As far as looks go, the cat-foxes are remarkably distinct looking mammals. They are slightly bigger than a domestic cat, with ringed tails, and substantial canine teeth which the cat-fox uses to hunt at night.
“By looking at its DNA, we could tell it apart from the European wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris. It’s close to the African forest cat, Felis silvestris lybica, but its exact identity is still to be determined,” Pierre Benedetti, chief environmental technician of the National Hunting and Wildlife Office, told the AFP.
The cat may have been introduced to the island from the Middle East of Africa thousands of years ago. Local legends of the cat have been passed around for generations. Now that we have proof of its existence, non-lethal trapping and tagging is hoped to help rangers protect this species for many more years to come.
Learn more about these animals in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.