Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rare small wildcat killed by car in India

Car mows down rare cat in Bandipur forest

TNN 15 October 2009, 03:20am IST

BANGALORE: A rusty-spotted cat (world's smallest wild cat) was mowed down by a speeding car in Bandipur Tiger Reserve recently. Naturalist Rakesh
Gupta saw the car with a Kerala registration number kill the cat but couldn't note down its number. However, he managed to take some pictures of the car.

The rusty-spotted cat, found only in southern India and Sri Lanka, is threatened by extinction due to habitat loss and occasionally poached for its pelt. This shy cat is elusive because it's seen largely at night. It is called kandhuchukke bekku in Kannada. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates its population may be below 10,000 mature animals.

A case on the closure of roads for traffic in Bandipur at night is pending in the Karnataka High Court. Wildlife conservationists from the state are hoping that the ban at night would continue as there is an alternative route but not very popular because it's 23 km longer.


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