Jacobo the Andean cat

Andean cats are rare and rarely seen. At last count it was reported that only 1,378 adults exist and those are scattered over more than 150,000 square kilometers (roughly 580,000 square miles) of highlands from northeastern Peru to Patagonia. So when Jacobo showed up there were a few puzzled faces in town.

Cat of the Month ~ December 2020
Jacobo, the beautiful Andean cat

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

 

Jacobo was spotted in the middle of a artificial grass football field in Bolivia, and he was far from anywhere that should have been home. Not knowing what else to do, local people put the Endangered cat in a birdcage to hand it over to authorities.

At first glance no bigger than a housecat, this feline had ended up such a distance from its usual haunts, high-up in the mountains of Chile, Argentina and Peru, that it was and still is, a mystery. However, this extraordinary circumstance gave conservationists a chance to learn about an animal they are dedicated to saving, but had rarely seen.

The Andean cat ranges from remote areas of central Peru to the Patagonian steppe. Perfectly adapted to extreme environments, this small feline is though threatened by habitat degradation and hunting.

Jacobo was lucky in that he was given to the Andean Cat Alliance, and instead of being kept captive, the members agreed there and then to forego the extraordinary opportunity to study the animal it had been gifted, and instead, try to return “Jacobo” to the wild.

Cordinators Rocío Palacios and Lilian Villalba orchestrated the multinational volunteer release effort. Jacobo was first examined to reveal no health problems. The conservationists then equipped Jacobo with a GPS collar in the hope that tracking his travels will reveal new data about this particular secretive cat, and others of his kind.

Andean cats are said to be a symbol of the Andes Mountains

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

Jacobo was released safe and sound in the Sajama National Park, in Bolivia. After the first few days of tracking his radio signal, he began venturing farther away from the release site.

Read the full story of Jacobo and the Andean Cat Alliance (AGA) on the Mongobay website.

The elusive Andean cat caught on camera trap. A stunning feline in a stunning location

Photograph: © Wildlife Conservation Network (link).

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