Africa's Smallest Cat: Deadly and Adorable
It is often said that big things come in small packages, but it may never be more true than with Africa's smallest feline The Black-Footed Cat. The BFC weighs in at only 2 kg (4.5 lbs), but that hasn't stopped it from becoming one of the most prolific feline hunters on the continent (even better than it's big cousin, the lion). Don't be fooled by it's cute oversized eyes and cuddly exterior - this cat can hunt, as you will see in the video below. The BFC's choice of prey in the clip may be a bit questionable, but there is no denying its speed, tenacity and confident swagger.
We think it's time the BFC got some attention!
Perhaps because of its size, the black-footed cat is often overlooked and ignored. Compared to its big relatives in Africa like the leopard and lion it doesn't get much attention. At this point the BFC is listed as vulnerable and we still have much to learn about this amazing creature. What we do know is that these small wild cats are an essential link in the African eco-system and their survival is imperative. It has been estimated that there may be as few as only 1000 left in the wild.
Who's Doing Something About It?
The Karoo Cat Research Centre in South Africa in combination with the Cat Conservation Trust are some of the leaders in this field. Their aim is to create public awareness of the plight of the small cats through research and education. Often the BFC is mis-understood and even attempted to be made into a domestic pet. These organizations offer a sanctuary for small wild cats that have been mis-treated in this fashion as well as extensive conservation and research programs to help ensure the survival of the species.
We encourage you all to visit their website and learn more about the Black Footed Cat and other small wild cats. The site is full of great pics and information about these animals and the wonderful conservation work that is being done at the facility. If you like what you see you can even help out by making a donation.
Another organization doing brilliant work with the BFC is the Black-footed Cat Working Group. Their goal is to study the ecology, reproduction and health of black-footed cats in South Africa. They feel that through extensive research they will be able to help improve its ex situ breeding potential, which is the process of moving part of the species population to another less threatening location. You can find out a lot more info about the BFC, the Black-footed Cat Working Group and how you can help by visiting their website HERE.