Jungle Cats

The jungle cat (Felis chaus) has to be one of the worst-named animals. It lives in swamps and on shores and river banks. It turns up near all sorts of puddles, from oases to irrigation ditches. Its range covers most of southern Asia as far east as Vietnam and as far west as Turkey, as well as a stretch of the Nile delta. Like the coyote, it's comfortable near humans and will take up residence even in cities.

The jungle cat eat rodents, hares, reptiles, amphibians, guinea fowl and other birds, insects, and even young wild boars and chital deer. It will dive to catch fish. Humans have little to fear from it—unless they adopt it.

In recent years, breeders have been selling as pets a hybrid of jungle cat and domestic cat, called the chaussie. Predictably, these hybrids have clawed and bitten a lot of people. In 1995 one pet jungle cat seriously mauled a two-year-old girl in Downer's Grove, Illinois.

More information about jungle cats.



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