Tragedy Sparks Unexpected Hope for Thailand’s Fishing Cats
Photo/Parinya Padungtin , facebook
An endangered fishing cat has died after sustaining injuries during an attack by villagers in the Pitsanulok Province just north of Bangkok. But there is a way to help.
Villagers found the fishing cat in a rice field and chased it up a tree, says fishing cat biologist Passanan “Namfon” Cutter. They then used a noose to pull the fishing cat down, reportedly for food.
A provincial authority rescued the cat, but the cat died about an hour before Cutter and a team of vets from the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand could arrive.
While, the death of this otherwise healthy, male fishing cat is a tragic blow to this imperiled species, something good may come from the incident. Fishing cats have now been found in a new area in Thailand, and Cutter has gained support from Thai officials.
“We have made some positive connections with some provincial authorities,” wrote Cutter in a facebook reply. “They are very keen to help me do some surveys in the area where the cat was found, and then will help initiate a conservation campaign.”
Fewer than 10,000 fishing cats remain in the world, number-wise making them more endangered than the African lion.
Villagers tend to view fishing cats as pest or prey, but Cutter and her team are trying to dispel these preconceived notions. Her team is surveying populations and studying how the cat could help control crop pests and the spread of deadly disease.
- Support Cutter’s study by donating to the Fishing Cat Research and Conservation Project.
- Like the study’s facebook page.
- Bone up on your fishing cat savvy and share its story.
- Donate to CAT in WATER. It’s tax deductible! Your contribution will help purchase things like music rights or color correction for the fishing cat film.
For every gift of $20 or more, we’ll send you a 5×7 of “Rip Ear,” a real life wild fishing cat. Heck, if we hear you donated to Namfon’s project, we’ll send you a photo.
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