A rare feline the oncilla, or tigrillo in Spanish, was spotted in the surrounding hills of Colombia’s second city Medellin.
Although it was thought that the oncilla a small spotted cat-like nocturnal creature, had disappeared, a nature organization reported sightings of the rare animal around the Valle de Aburra area around Medellin.
The only evidence for years that the oncilla, generally found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, still existed in the area was when it apeared as roadkill.
“For a while we had lost hope that thos species was still around. However after many years of monitoring these slopes with our automatic cameras, we have got the first images of a live individual celebrating the oncilla is still with us,” said a spokesperson from the organization.
The spokesperson also expressed concern about the future of the threatened species in the area with increased “legal and illegal urbanization, expanding road infrastructure and population growth.”
Oncillas, which mainly live on rodents and birds, are classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” of threatened species. They suffered a great hit in their numbers during the 1970s and 1980s due to hunting for their luxurious pelt which during that time was one of the most heavily traded furs. Increased urbanization, loss of habitat and increased traffic also affected their population.