Assam: Endangered jungle cat rescued in Karimganj district
A local resident with the jungle cat in Narayinpur, Patharkandi in Karimganj district on Friday

Silchar: A jungle cat was rescued from a village in Patharkandi in southern Assam’s Karimganj district on Friday.

Sources said the cat was spotted by a local resident, who with the help of others, caught the animal from Narayinpur, about 92 kilometres from Silchar on Friday afternoon and informed the forest department.

A team of officials from the Baithakhal forest office under the Dohalia forest range reached the spot after which the locals handed over the feline to the forest officials.

Forest officials confirmed that it was a three-month-old jungle cat and its health appeared to be fine. A medical checkup will be conducted and it will be released in the wild, officials said.

Residents said a rumour had spread in the area that it was a tiger cub. This caused panic as they thought a tigress could also be in the vicinity. They were relieved after it was confirmed that it was a jungle cat and not a tiger cub.

A jungle cat (Felis chaus), also called reed or swamp cat and jungle lynx, is a medium-sized cat found mainly in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and southern China.

These carnivorous cats hunt small mammals like gerbils, hares, and rodents. They also eat birds, fish, frogs, insects, and small snakes.

The jungle cat is a critically endangered species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, Appendix II). It is listed as a Schedule II species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Hunting or killing the cat is prohibited in many countries including Bangladesh, China, India, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Turkey.

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