Elusive Andean Mountain Cat Caught On Camera In Chile

Researchers have waited 25 years for confirmation that Andean cats lived in Chile’s Los Flamencos National Reserve.

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The secretive cat was caught by a motion-sensing camera in a new location. Via Alianza Gato Andino/Facebook
The secretive cat was caught by a motion-sensing camera in a new location. Via Alianza Gato Andino/Facebook

Elvis. Aliens. Bigfoot. People who do Crossfit but don’t talk about Crossfit all the time. There are so many things that are supposedly out there in this great, wide world of ours, but there isn’t any photographic or video evidence to prove it. The Andean mountain cat used to fit into this same category because — although they were rumored to live within the boundaries of Chile’s Los Flamencos National Reserve — the secretive species had never been seen in that territory.

For 25 years, researchers believed that the cats lived on those rocky slopes, but they were never able to capture the mysterious felines on camera, according to Earth Touch News Network. (In fact, they are rarely captured on camera anywhere in the wild.) That all changed earlier this month when a motion sensor camera trap captured a mother Andean mountain cat and her cub, filming them as they played for more than two hours.

Like many house cats, the Andean Mountain Cat is rather camera shy. Via CONAF/Twitter

Like many house cats, the Andean Mountain Cat and her baby like to lounge in the sun. Via CONAF/Twitter

The elusive cats are (obviously) one of the least researched species of feline, although it is believed that there are less than 2,500 of them in the wild. That makes this sighting extremely significant, for a number of reasons.

“This is one of the five most endangered cats worldwide, but we have to know where it is present so we can protect it,” CONAF (Chile’s National Forest Corporation) biologist Mariano de la Maza told Earth Touch. “With this sighting, we can now form a new conservation plan for them based on the information we have.”

Now if only they could set a trap camera for those long-rumored Crossfitters…

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Comments

  • so happy to hear this!

    Nancy Robison October 28, 2015 1:18 am Reply
  • So cute. As long as people don’t harm them. I hope they do everything in the world too protect them.

    wayne freitag October 28, 2015 1:44 am Reply
  • So beautiful. I hope they not be hunted.

    Maria Reis October 28, 2015 3:25 am Reply
  • Such beautiful cats. They need to be protected & respected. Too many of this earth’s animals are becoming
    extinct because of greedy subhumans. Please keep them safe!

    Karen Charette October 28, 2015 4:14 am Reply
  • Beautiful. Now if we can leave this miraculous cat alone….and not hunt or kill it or use it for science like the “scientist” who found the rarest bird after years and years and had to kill it. The disregard, disrespect for life has to stop. Animals are not ours to destroy.

    Ariel October 28, 2015 4:24 am Reply
  • Beautiful! Now please leave them alone!

    Maria Lucas October 28, 2015 4:31 am Reply
    • Well said! Quite right so.

      Vasilis October 28, 2015 4:54 pm Reply
  • Now they will disappear now that people know they are there. Such a shame . Really cute cats

    CATHERINE October 28, 2015 4:37 am Reply
  • Looks like a reg cat face, lemur tail and snow leopard legs

    CATHERINE October 28, 2015 4:39 am Reply
  • I tend to disagree with knowing where they are to protect them. Unfortunately humans get involved with endangered species an the species wines extinct. It is just great we have gotten pictures of this cute animal but now to stalk it out an then poachers are on your keels or hunters so the reason why we can see them more is because humans have encroached into their habitat like all the others. I just wish we can find away to research them without any harm come to them

    Robin Bolduc October 28, 2015 4:57 am Reply
  • I agree with all of the above. Most definitely these beautiful animals should be left in peace to enjoy their fragile lives. The earth and creatures on it do not belong to any one species, especially not humans who seem hell bent on wiping out so much of it.

    michele October 28, 2015 5:02 am Reply
  • I feel much the same way as expressed above. Best to keep a low profile on these rare finds lest they be hunted for their rarity and then truly do become extinct! I almost wish rare sightings could be publicized without revealing locations. These are beautiful creatures and they, God willing, shall remain undisturbed. But human beings are given free will and some sub-humans use this gift to rein over our earth as though it is theirs to conquer and own. I am afraid for these little beauties. How will they be protected?

    Ri Noel October 28, 2015 5:12 am Reply
  • I also strongly agree with what has been stated above. As soon as I was finished reading the article, that was the first thought that came to my mind. Some idiot will go and trap some of these cats, start breeding them and ruin everything about these beautiful creatures!! Thanks for their story but not really.

    Jane October 28, 2015 5:53 am Reply
  • “This is one of the five most endangered cats worldwide, but we have to know where it is present so we can protect it,”

    Protect it or hunt it down? Sub-humans haven’t been doing such a great job at protecting any other endangered species, so why would this be any different?

    Just let them live out their lives in peace.

    Anita October 28, 2015 7:07 am Reply
  • I agree with knowing to much about this BEAUTIFUL cats locations. Another area where some one. with too much money puts out a reward. If it took this long for these fellas to be caught on camera that means if the location is pin pointed. The wrong kind of human might find them first. I mean how large are elephants and we know we they live. YET, they are killed everyday , with all this SUPPOSED protection. When we know ,a lot of the guards becomes. the poachers for the. big money.

    skylar October 28, 2015 8:14 am Reply
  • Although I was pleased to see such a beautiful cat I am sad that their location has been broadcast for all those sick inviduals who feel that they should be captured and or killed as a trophy. There could be a reason why they have been so elusive for so many years. I can only pray that they remain safe.

    Marion Mulcahy October 28, 2015 10:02 am Reply
  • I hope the Chilenean government does everything in its power to protect this beautiful animals. I’m afraid that this amazing animals could become victims of psychos, like poachers, hunters, scientist and others who find a way to justify they horrible acts of cruelty.

    Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez October 28, 2015 10:05 am Reply
  • IMHO, this cat was on vacation with it’s domesticated human owners and escaped. It’s survived by hook or by crook and managed to mate with other wild, i.e. feral, cats and produced offspring. Perhaps their gene pools have overlapped to create another “species” …

    Caroline Thornburgh October 28, 2015 10:26 am Reply
  • PROTECT THESE CATS and LEAVE THEIR HABITAT ALONE.

    jmhuhj October 28, 2015 11:07 am Reply
  • And now why did these scientists had to trumpet all over the world, that these beautiful cats exist and where to find them? To protect them – my foot! I’m sure it wont be long and most of them will be gone, due to the human desire to kill and the scientists thirst of glory. I’m just hoping that they live in an inaccessible part of the reserve and those who might try to get there in order to kill them, break their necks! Sorry but I mean it…

    Dagmar B. October 28, 2015 11:25 am Reply
  • Now set a trap camera for the POACHERS! You just tipped them off where to look for the rare cat.

    Guest100 October 28, 2015 12:12 pm Reply
  • I wonder if domestic cats could breed with them?

    Suzanne October 28, 2015 12:52 pm Reply
  • They are beautiful cats!

    Tracy October 28, 2015 2:01 pm Reply
  • dans un sens j’aurais préféré qu’ils ne puissent jamais le photographier, maintenant pour lui vont commencer les problèmes. Qu’ont-ils besoin de l’étudier, il vit sans eux, n’a pas besoin d’eux, qu’ils le laissent tranquille, l’oublie même car “pour vivre heureux vivons cachés”

    andree October 28, 2015 4:11 pm Reply
  • PLEASE, for the LOVE of GOD—–now that you’ve given away their location—–
    PROTECT THEM WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT, & THEN SOME!!!!!
    Since Cecil was murdered by a rich, self-worshipping TURD-with-FEET, who WASN’T CHARGED for his COWARDLY CRIME, the evil scumbag wannabes have come out from their pits to kill something—ANYTHING—they can find.
    God help these precious cats……..

    Elizabeth Snyder~Baldonado October 28, 2015 4:46 pm Reply
  • Did they have to give the location where these cats are found? Whenever man gets involved it usually does not have a good result.
    Now make sure these beautiful and vulnerable cats are put under 24/7 guard. Sign me up!

    KatWrangler October 28, 2015 4:47 pm Reply
  • Agree leave those cats alone

    Marsha October 28, 2015 5:53 pm Reply
  • I wish whenever they have articles regarding wildlife that their location be kept secret. I watched a wonderful program on Forest Elehants, but they said where the elephants met, at a specific watering place. I get so angry because they are putting targets on these defenceless, voiceless animals.

    Maxine Sheehan October 28, 2015 7:55 pm Reply

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