Tim Melling – Leopard Cat

This wild Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis chinensis) was photographed at night by torchlight, but with no flash.  I spotted him in a roadside tree as we were driving past at Labahe in China.  I managed to shine a flashlight on him long enough to capture a photograph.  About the size of a domestic cat but with longer legs, Leopard Cats are widely distributed in Southeast Asia.  They are highly arboreal hunting rodents and tree shrews, but will also hunt on the ground. usually at night.

Archaeological studies have shown that Leopard Cats were tamed or domesticated in China 5000 years ago but were gradually replaced over time with cats descended from Wildcats (Felis sylvestris lybica) from the Middle East.

And if you are interested in the settings it was taken with a Nikon D500 and a 300mm prime f4 Nikkor (fresnel) lens with a 1.4x converter (=420mm), f5.6, 1/640 and with the ISO at an almost unbelievable 51,200.



2 Replies to “Tim Melling – Leopard Cat”

  1. Humans do love to keep meddling, with what unintended consequences this time?
    viz “we” have produced a hybrid ( the Bengal cat) between this and the domestic cat for the nice leopard pattern.
    To quote Wiki “After three generations from the original crossing, the breed usually acquires a gentle domestic cat temperament.” Then are not classified as a wild animal. They have been recorded as jumping 4 feet high. So what other aspects of their hunting past have they retained. OK they are recorded as eating rodents but??
    When we need a selection program that removes the hunting instinct from our existing domestic cats, introducing fresh wild strains seems a bit retrograde.

    1. If I were you, Andrew, I’d be more worried about the size of the human population rather than that of the domestic cat.

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