By Federico Cornetto
A rare wild cat has been caught on video by an Italian biologist at the Nazzano Tevere-Farfa nature reserve.
According to Christian Angelici, who is also a wildlife photographer, it is extremely difficult to film this elusive animal in his natural habitat, and practically impossible to meet it in person.
Although the species is present all over Europe and Asia, its estimated density is of 0.3 to three specimen every four square miles – in a city, you’ll find about 300.000 people in that same space – and they all live in deep stretches of forest which are hard to access.
By leaving his cameras switched on in the bush for two months, from September to October this year, Christian managed to capture some rare images of the wild cat, as well as of many others inhabitants of the woods.
Christian said: “This cat’s trademark is its long tail with a black tip, as well as the black band along its back.
“It’s a very strong and agile animal, it hunts small mammals and birds and it’s a great climber.
He added: “We don’t have sufficient data to give an accurate estimate of its population, but we are worried about hybridisation as the animal mates with other cats and there are less and less pure specimens.
“We have been trying to film it since 2010, and these are the best images we have got since then.”
Many other bush animals have exhibited their moves in front of Christian’s cameras, including a family of boars, some porcupines, a badger, a marten and a shy fox.