‘Cat-fox’ found on island of Corsica may be new species

Wildlife experts on the French island of Corsica believe they have discovered a new species labeled as a “cat-fox.” Translated from the Corsican language as “chat-renard” [French] and “Ghjattu volpe” in Corsican, the 16 striped, tawny-coated animals have created a lot of interest.

According to AFP, the strange felines were captured in the northern part of the Mediterranean island by the National Hunting and Wildlife Office.

The cat-fox measures about 35 inches in length from the head to its tail, has wide ears, “highly developed” canines and short whiskers. The animal also has stripes on its front legs and dark back legs. The tails have two to four rings and a black tip. The thick striped coat is a natural deterrent for fleas, ticks and lice.

The first feline was captured in 2008 and found in a chicken coop. Since then, officials have captured 12 or the 16 cat-foxes spotted. After the animals are examined, they are released back into the wild. At this time, it is not known much about the animal’s diet, reproduction cycles or origins, but all scientists have agreed this latest species discovered in very different from the European wildcat – found across Europe .

Scientists hope “this cat will be recognised and protected” within two to four years.

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