KATHMANDU — This past July 20, Radha Krishna Rijal noticed a strange animal struggling in the drainage channel of his house in the Parshyang neighborhood of western Nepal’s Pokhara Valley. He’d never seen such an animal before, he tells Mongabay: it was small, with a long tail and a furry body. “It had rained continuously for over a day, and I saw this animal, which was the size of a baby cat in the drainage of my house,” Rijal says. He called his neighbors, who took photos of the animals and tried to guess what it was, but coming up blank. “Many of the elders of the settlement said it was an otter, but we couldn’t reach a conclusion even after googling,” Rijal says. So he sent the photos to a friend who might know, conservationist Tulasi Prasa Dahal at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). Dahal passed on the photo to an NTNC colleague, Madhu Chetri, who duly identified it as the rare bearcat, or binturong, Arctictis binturong, and circulated the image among experts to get their opinion. The bearcat, which looks like the hybrid that its name invokes, had long been thought to roam the forests of eastern Nepal, but there have been no confirmed sightings of this species that’s categorized as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. According to the IUCN, the global wildlife conservation authority, the binturong is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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