A fishing cat, once again, has been mistaken for a leopard and this time it happened in a place that's not too far from New Delhi, the capital of India.
I must say, that over the years that I have been reading about the wild cats, I have noticed that it is not uncommon to read about leopards and medium to large wild cat species being trapped in wells.
|Read about the fishing cat. This image is copyright Michael Broad. Credits are on the linked page.|
That is what happened to this fishing cat. The cat was found in a well. It had wandered into a village because its habitat had been shrunk through unregulated urbanisation. The fishing cat lives on wetlands as can be imagined because it feeds on fish as a primary prey.
The big question I have is why are so many wild cat species ending up at the bottom of village wells? It seems to me, and I am very sceptical these days, that villagers are herding the cats into the wells to protect themselves from what they see as a dangerous animal.
The fishing cat isn't that dangerous because it is a small to medium-sized wild cat species. It is a strong cat and it does bring down fairly large prey on occasions but I don't ever recall reading about a fishing cat attacking a person. It is just that people mistake the fishing cat for a leopard, which surprises me because the leopard is many times larger. By comparison to a domestic cat the fishing cat is about twice the size.
We're not talking about distant sightings of a wild cat. We're talking about people being quite close to a frightened wild cat who has wandered into a village. Surely, after all these years villagers should be able to distinguish between a fishing cat and a leopard.
Apparently, this wild cat was recovered from the village well and taken to a zoo where no doubt it will be miserable for the rest of its life all because it happened to have wandered into a village having been forced off its own habitat. Sorry to be so negative but that is the truth of the matter.