A few days ago, an infrared camera caught a rare video of newly born Chinese mountain cats (Felis bieti) in China’s Sanjiangyuan region, which is the world’s first sighting of the mysterious wild cat. With two unique horizontal lines on the cheeks and black rings on the tail, the Chinese mountain cat is one of the few special types of wild cats who have not been seen a lot in the wild.
According to Lian Ximing from the Chinese Academy of Science, the cats grow a bit larger than domestic cats and live a solitary life. They mate between January and March and the cubs are born in only a few months. In the wild, this special cat gives birth to 2-4 cubs who are fully independent as soon as they reach 3 months.
Of course, these cats are carnivorous, feeding on small birds, rats, and pikas. They live in forest regions at an altitude of 2,800-4,000 m. The discovery of the cats is unique from a few angles – besides the video being the world’s first Chinese mountain cat sighting, it also means that the grassland ecosystem in that part of China is complete.
There are less than 10,000 of these felines left in the wild, which puts them in the endangered species category. The Chinese mountain cat is a Class II protected wild animal in China, although poachers have been a problem for quite a long time. Still, the newly born cubs give hope for the survival of this beautiful and endangered animal.