On Twitter and on the news media, there is talk about a new wild cat species roaming a mountainous area in Corsica, the Asco Valley, which looks like a brown tabby cat and behaves like a laid-back domestic cat judging by the way the cat accepts being handled like a baby. I really can’t understand this at all. Perhaps the cat has been tranquillised but nobody has said that. Or it is just possible that this wild species behaves like the Andean mountain cat which is also rather tame but that idea is highly unlikely.
“For us, it is a natural wild species, which was known but not listed, because it is an extremely discreet animal, with nocturnal manners. It is an extraordinary discovery,”Pierre Benedetti, Chief Environmental Technician of ONCFS,
The twitter video tells you probably all that you want to know. The researchers believe that this is an unclassified but new species of small wild cat but I don’t believe it. They call the cat a cat-fox (in French: ghjattu-volpe) because the tail is long. They say that they have identified 16 individuals and that the cat has evolved in this mountainous region.
The area covers about 25,000 hectares. The expert says that he’s sure that this is not a domestic cat. In that case this individual cat that we see in the video must have been tranquillised otherwise you have to conclude that the cat is highly socialised and very domesticated and therefore not wild at all.
He says that he’s sure that this is not a European wildcat which would be the obvious choice as the appearance is correct for that species. If it is a European wildcat it must have been tranquillised because this species is very aggressive and there would be no chance that the person could handle the cat like this. He is convinced that the DNA is different but we don’t know how he comes to that conclusion.
Personally, as you can tell, I am very sceptical about what this man says. To me this looks like a European wildcat that’s been tranquillised and perhaps it is a hybridisation between a wild cat and a domestic cat or even perhaps a feral cat.