5 Rare Leopard Cats Spotted in Shenzhen

By Matthew Bossons, May 27, 2019

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Five leopard cats have been sighted in OCT Wetland Park, according to a recent report by Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.

Feces from the species discovered last December prompted park staff to install infrared camera traps in the wetland, and the devices first picked up footage of a leopard cat on December 28, 2018. Fifteen days later, on January 12, another wild cat and three cubs were caught on camera.

Shenzhen Daily notes that it is rare for leopard cats to be spotted near the central areas of major metropolises, and credits the species’ appearance in OCT Wetland Park to the “greatly improved” environment in the park after “years of restoration.”

The park covers an area of less than 1-square kilometer and is located in the northern portion of the OCT Harbor complex, according to Shenzhen Daily. It is registered as a Level 2 National Breeding Habitat for a number of endangered bird species.

READ MORE: Leopard Escapes at Guangzhou Zoo, Shot by Tranq-Gun

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In May of 2017, a photography team in Shenzhen announced that they had captured footage of three elusive leopard cats in the city. Image via QQ Video

This is not the first time leopard cats have been spotted in Shenzhen. Back in May of 2017, a photography team in Shenzhen announced that they had captured footage of three elusive leopard cats in the city’s Nanshan district. The videos were captured by camera traps on Tanglang Mountain, which were set up by the Shenzhen Biological Agency Team.

Li Cheng, a member of the research team at the time, told Tencent News that three infrared cameras were set up – all of which captured footage of leopard cats.

Leopard cats are approximately the size of a house cat, albeit with longer legs and a more slender body, and have been cited as the first domesticated cat species, as suggested by bones dating to between 5,000-4,900 BP that were discovered in China. 

The animal’s ‘domestic’ status was allegedly short-lived, however, as the species was supplanted by the wildcat – which all domestic cat species in present day China are linked to.

READ MORE: Elusive Leopard Cats Caught on Camera at Shenzhen Mountain

[Cover image via Shenzhen Daily]

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