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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Magic In The Wilderness

It never ceases to amaze me how Nature continues to weave Her magic disappearing spells on us, even in this age of mass deforestation and urbanization.

As species go extinct as fast as the seconds hand on a clock, so too do others seemingly disappear and then suddenly re-appear like some monumental game of hide and seek.

A recent case in point is the beautifully enigmatic Borneo Bay Cat (Pardofelis badia). Although first identified 138 years ago, almost nothing is actually known about it. In fact the cat has managed to completely elude researchers and conservationists. The first photo of the cat wasn’t taken until 1998 and the first video was shot just two years ago, but that's about it - nothing is still known about its life cycle or behaviour.

You know, scientists dream as feverishly and as frequently as the rest of humanity, and someone's dream obviously came true when this gorgeous red and brown creature recently wandered through their camera trap!


Photo by Jo Ross and Andrew Hearn/Global Canopy Programme

It disappeared just as soon as it appeared, but it was enough to rekindle that spark of enthusiasm that draws us back to the wild, time and time again.

Who knows when it will be seen again; who can predict when it performs its next magic trick? But just the very knowledge that something as sizable and as stunning as the Borneo Bay Cat can continue to elude us even in this ever-shrinking world; now that's a good feeling...

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