Information Regarding the Malayan Big Cat



The name “Big Cat” is commonly used to describe any of the following five cat species, namely the American lion, black bear, gray wolf, snow Leopard, and Philippine big cat. Except for the last three, all species can roar. In addition, all big cats possess webbed ears and whiskers. They are nearly double the size of domestic cats, standing up to fifteen inches at the shoulder and weighing in at anywhere from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty pounds. A medium sized big cat will weigh in between forty and sixty pounds.

Big cats are members of the large feline family, meaning they are relatively large, strong, and mobile. Though not the largest cat in its subfamily, the Malayan big cat still holds a prominent place in the cat family hierarchy. Like most big cats, it is a carnivore with a stocky body and short legs. Its long, double ear, wide forehead, and big paws suggest a sleek, athletic, and powerful body. Its dark eyes, large and round, hint at its incredible hearing and smell, while its distinctive coat and tail hints at a warm, adventurous personality.

In terms of appearance, the Malayan big cat is similar in appearance to many other big cats. It has a grayish fur color, with patterns that may appear to be stripes or spots. Its ears, which are often rounded or pointed like those of the Bobcat, are black with a small, rounded mouth, and its whiskers have white tips. Malayan big cats are also very social and well-known for their ability to form and maintain relationships with other cats and even with members of its subfamily.

Today, the Malayan big cats are widely distributed across Southeast Asia, with some residing in Brazil and other parts of South America, as well as in New Guinea and Timor-Leste in the east. There are only about a hundred remaining alive in the wild. The term big cat has been applied to several of these species, but the name really belongs to the Malayan cheetah.

Known by other names, such as the ‘Royal Cougar’, ‘Nunda Puma’ and ‘Butcher Cat’, the Malayan big cat is probably one of the most threatened felines in the world. It is largely believed to be endangered due to habitat encroachment and poaching for sport and the illegal trade of body parts. Recent information states that in the last decade there has been a steep decline in the total number of big cats in the wild. Most of the decline is due to loss of habitat caused by human habitat encroachment and poaching. One reason for the steep decline in the numbers is the steady rise of the mountain lion population in the past few decades. Because the two cats share some similar characteristics, many researchers believe they may share a future reproductive relationship.

Today, the bulk of critically endangered big cat population resides in the southern part of Brazil in the Guiananamo National Park. In addition to the Brazilian area, the population also occurs in the Northern Cape, the Western Province and the Province of Bouba IV in the Amazonian region. With populations dwindling in certain regions, the big cats are protected in several states in the U.S., particularly where the species is severely threatened by increasing poaching pressures. Today, the most well-known big cat in the safari industry is the Iberian lynx, with nearly forty percent of its total population being captive in the U.S.

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