An African wildcat

Wildcats are found across a huge area (see the map below) are are incredibly similar across the whole region. There are two species recognized, and they are the European wildcat, and the African wildcat (the African wildcat is the same species found throughout its range in Asia and the middle east. There has been much revision as to how many subspecies there are, but the most recent assessment suggests 5 consisting of European Wildcat, Caucasian Wildcat, African Wildcat, South African Wildcat and Asian Wildcat.

Domestic cats are thought to have been tamed in Israel, which has unfortunately meant that this species of wild cat is now spread across the globe – many local species of wildcat have become extinct through hybridisation, the British wildcat is just one such example. There are now only pure British wildcats in captivity, and while there are still quite a few living wild in Scotland they have Asiatic wildcat features. This has happened in many places and solutions are not yet forthcoming.

This is a photo of a Scottish wildcat, which is a subspecies of the European wildcat. Hybridization means that this species no longer exists in pure form in the world. Reintroduction plans are being considered, so long as feral cats can be removed

They are not hard to see if you are in the right place. I have seen them in Africa, take a night drive in almost any nature reserve. Links will be added below.

See Animals Wild