‘Cat-fox’ Found on Mediterranean Island Could be a New Species


Wild-life experts working on the French island of Corsica have identified a potential new species of fox-like cat.. or cat-like fox.

AFP reports 16 of the golden striped critters have already been captured by officials from France’s National Hunting and Wildlife Office (ONCFS).

The animal, referred to as “chat-renard” (cat-fox) in French and “Ghjattu volpe” in the Corsican language, is part of an old local legend. So it’s sudden discovery is creating a lot of buzz both online and around the Mediterranean island.

Measuring nearly 35-inches head to tail, the “cat-fox” is equipped with “highly developed” canine teeth, wide ears and short whiskers, Fox News reports. It’s multi-colored coat is thick with stripes on its front legs, and a much darker hind-end. The dense, silky coat acts as a natural repellent for fleas, ticks and lice.

The tail typically has anywhere from two to four rings and a nearly solid black tip.

Gilles Simeoni, president of Corsica’s executive council, posted on Twitter to thank the ONCFS and its team for their work on the project. In the message, which has been translated from the Corsican language, Simeoni notes Corsica is a “paradise of animal and plant biodiversity.”

There are still many aspects of the “cat-fox” left up for mystery, such as its diet, reproductive patterns and its origins, AFP reports. However, experts working closely with the animal say the animal is definitely different from the European wildcat, and there’s even speculation it may have originated somewhere in the Middle East.

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