Whist out last night during the cold rainy weather, we did not manage to see a lot of game, however on our return to Buffalo Camp, we came upon an unusual sighting – an African wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica), foraging for food.
The cat was relaxed and did not pay much attention to us viewing him, as he was too interested in what he was stalking.
Interesting facts on this African Wildcat:
Diet: mice, rats and other small mammals but when the opportunity arises, it will also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Habitat: Africa and in the Middle East, in a wide range of habitats: steppes, savannas and bushland.
The Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is the species found in even more arid areas.
African Wildcats are on CITES Appendix II that mean species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. The primary threat facing the African wildcat throughout its range is hybridization with domestic cats. Hybridization has been taking place over a long period of time, particularly in the north of its range where domestic cats arose thousands of years ago.
After a good 10 minutes of viewing, this beautiful cat was on his way and we were on our way back to camp.
Kobus van Schalkwyk
Ranger at Buffalo Camp