Rare jungle cat spotted in central Turkey

Rare jungle cat spotted in central Turkey

Rare jungle cat spotted in central Turkey

A rare jungle cat has been spotted for the first time in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.

Emir Özay, a master’s student of forestry student at Bartın University, captured images of the cat, the scientific name of which is Felis chaus.

Jungle cats, generally seen in wetlands and reed fields, are medium-sized cats native to South Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and southern China.

The sandy or yellowish grey animals are considered an endangered species in Turkey.

“They come out at night and it is difficult to spot them and take their photos in the mornings,” Özay said.

“I previously spotted caracals and wildcats in Eskişehir. This time I managed to capture photos of a jungle cat for the first time in this province,” he added.

Assistant Professor Nuri Kaan Özkazanc, who teaches Özay at Bartın University, praised the efforts of his student.

“The jungle cat [generally] lives in the [Turkish provinces of] Isparta, Denizli, Konya, and Adana. It is great to see one in Eskişehir. It a rare and elusive breed,” Özkazanc said.

“Our greatest wish is for the official protection of such endangered animals,” he added.