Monday, 6 September 2010

Wild Cat in Gurgaon?

Face to face with large cat in Gurgaon -could it be wild?

One day in our new apartment in Gurgaon, Nitoli suddenly called on me frantically from our balcony. The reason was that she had spotted the animal above, which to me does not look like a normal domesticated cat. It has no collar, a pattern which looks like wild camouflage and most importantly it seemed to be significantly bigger than normal house cats. Perhaps +50% body size. It's behaviour also seemed quite wild to me as it was searching for eggs on a small slope full of nesting holes used by our local Mynas.

I am in no way a cat expert so of course I could be wrong. This could be a cat owned by someone in the neighbourhood or perhaps more likely a domesticated cat, which has been let loose and therefore partially reverted to its pre-domesticated, wild behaviour. It has been suggested to me that it might be a Bengal, which is a hybrid between domesticated cats and the wild Asian Leopard Cat. However, when I check the pictures on Google it doesn't seem like a perfect match to me.

In any case, I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures with my telephoto lens from our 6th floor balcony, after which I ran down to catch some pictures from the ground level helped by phone instructions from Nitoli who kept her eyes on the cat's movements from above and told me where to go. I managed to sneak close enough to get the very nice facial shot you see above, through a small opening in the shrubbery surrounding our building.

If any of my visitors can shed any light on the likely origins of this cat, I would be very curious to hear their input. Thanks in advance!

Searching a slope for birds eggs. Picture taken from 6th floor balcony

Spotted fur pattern, nice for camouflage - and no collar


Latin Sardar said...

Well, even I'm no expert, but the number of hours spent on Discovery channel say that a look at the shape of the ears in the close up would've been much helpful in determining the 'wild'ness of the cat.

oreneta said...

I have no idea, he looks pretty ferocious though.

Esben said...

Thanks for the tip, Latin.

After seeing the picture on this page:

I have concluded that it is most likely a Bengal Cat gone feral.