Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) - Wiki
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The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus or Felis viverrina) is a medium-sized cat of Asia. Its habitat in Southeast Asia ranges through Indochina, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java. Its fur has an olive-grey color with dark spots. The face has a distinctly flat-nosed appearance. The size is variable: while it is 80 cm (plus 30 cm tail) in India, it is only 65 cm (plus 25 cm) in Indonesia.
Like its closest relative, the Leopard Cat, the Fishing Cat lives along rivers, brooks and mangrove swamps. It is perhaps better adapted to this habitat, since it swims often and skillfully.
As the name implies, fish is the main prey of this cat. In addition it hunts for other aquatic animals like frogs or crayfish, as well as terrestrial animals like rodents and birds. The inter-digital webs on its paws help the cat gain better traction in muddy environments and water, like many other mammals in semi-aquatic environments. Additionally, its claws are non-retractable, a feature unique to the cheetah and Iriomote cat. There are two subspecies:
- Prionailurus viverrinus viverrinus or felis viverrina vivverina, India, Southeast Asian mainland, Sumatra
- Prionailurus viverrinus risophores or felis viverrina risophores, Java, Bali
Captive fishing cats can be seen at 22 different North American institutions. By December 2005, there were 72 fishing cats in these institutions. The largest captive group in North America is found at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York (15 cats).
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