Malagasy African wildcat

Felis lybica

African Wildcats are a species of wildcat similar in appearance to domesticated cats, native to mainland Africa, the Middle East, India and Central Asia. Unlike domestic cats, which are the direct descendants of African Wildcats, they’re larger, have longer legs, more muscular bodies and pointier ears. Despite them being very versatile and elusive animals, they aren't thought to inhabit Madagascar.

Strangely, in the Malagasy Academy of Sciences, there is a taxidermized specimen of what was initially thought to be an extraordinarily sized feral tabby cat. It was caught in the wild in Madagascar. French veterinarian and author Fernand Méry pointed out it appeared to be an African wildcat.

In 2015, a team of seven scientists, two being from Madagascar’s Wildlife Conservation Society, set up various trail cameras and took two photos of what appears to be African wildcats in the remote Masoala peninsula. It is unclear whether this population of African wildcats is a native population that has gone unnoticed, or they were introduced at some point by humans. The Wildlife Conservation Society's 2015 article about their wildlife surveys is also notable for photographing the fitoaty, another unknown felid.

One of the photos of an African wildcat taken in Madagascar

One of the photos of an African wildcat taken in Madagascar

One of the photos of an African wildcat taken in Madagascar

One of the photos of an African wildcat taken in Madagascar