BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Tuesday December 06 2005 16:45 GMT

New 'cat-like' mammal discovered

New mammal in Borneo

The WWF thinks it may have discovered a type of animal that has never been seen before deep in the forests of Borneo.

The mammal is slightly bigger than a cat with dark red fur, a bushy tail, very small ears and large back legs.

Experts say that it is extremely rare to find a new animal of this size - particularly one that eats meat.

The creature has been captured by photograph but will have to be caught properly for scientists to work out if it really is a brand new species.

If the mammal does turn out to be a new species it will be the first time in more than a century that a new carnivore has been found on the island.

Borneo facts
It's home to more than 210 types of mammal
44 of its mammals can't be found anywhere else in the world
The world's biggest cockroach lives here
The WWF says it'll lose over two thirds of its forest in the next 15 years

Earlier this year the WWF called for more protection of Borneo's rainforests to protect creatures that are yet to be discovered as well as those that are endangered.

The island is known to be one of the most important wildlife areas in the world but many animal experts fear that its role in the timber, rubber, pulp and paper industries could put its natural habitats in danger.