Rare Wild Cats Caught on Camera

By Cherise Udell, Feline Muse

Thanks to infrared triggers, otherwise known as camera traps, World Wildlife scientists caught extraordinary snapshots of five of the seven wild cat species found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  In early 2011, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conducted a three-month survey of an unprotected forest corridor in the area known as Thirty Hills.  As a result, its camera traps produced 404 action shots of the wild felines:

  • 226 of the Sumatran tiger
  • 77 of the clouded leopard
  • 70 of the golden cat
  • 27 of the leopard cat
  • 4 of the marble cat

A clouded leopard examines leaf litter. Notice his unusually long tail.

All images: © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA

The elusive marbled cat poses for the camera.

A gracile Asiatic cat stands alert in the Indonesian rainforest it calls home.

The petite leopard cat dashes across an opening in the forest.

A Sumatran tiger sniffs the forest floor…maybe picking up the scent of a World Wildlife Scientist?

This collection of 404 extraordinary feline images are a stark reminder of what could be lost to logging, plantations and illegal encroachment as four of the five species of cat caught on camera are listed as threatened by extinction.

The tigers were found in an area designated as a “global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape,” in one of the last large blocks of lowland forest still left on the island. These remaining forests are under significant threat from rapid deforestation due to industrial logging for pulp and paper and illegal encroachment from palm oil plantations. Such large scale forest clearance not only wipes out trees, it destroys the homes of indigenous tribes and other local residents of Sumatra’s forests. WWF has been working in this region for years, and in 1995 helped establish Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, a 330,000-acre protected area in the Thirty Hills region. These recent photos reinforce the need to expand the park to protect the wildlife living in the less hilly regions just outside the park’s borders. Expanding the size of the park or managing the area as a restoration scheme would ensure tigers continue to have room to roam, a crucial element for their health and breeding.

If these photos inspired you, you can help protect these beautiful cats by:

You can also further educate yourself and others about the links between our consumer choices and rainforest destruction:

For more information about the cats photographed visit:

All images: © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA

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Sue Griffiths
Sue Griffiths3 years ago

Fantastic photos of beautiful cats. I can't ever remember seeing palm oil on food packets. Will be checking in the morning.

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M.4 years ago


Tana D.4 years ago

Those are some gorgeous cats. Palm oil is hard to eliminate completely as it's so pervasive in everything. But I guess every little bit helps. Hopefully we can save these creatures before they are lost to us for good.

Emma Davey
Emma D.4 years ago

the linked petition is closed :(

Karen P.
Karen F.4 years ago

Wow. Yes the park must be extended to protect more animals, such a pity the whole of Sumatra couldn't be a wildlife haven!

Ragavan S.
Ragavan Mani4 years ago

really superv.. first time i seen......

Carolyn Smith
Cally Smith4 years ago

I agree totally with Heather - for me personally, besides food which is a big problem, i am palm oil free. Hooray to me but it doesn't change the world. personally i am sick of reading the stories, and not seeing something REALLY done about it. people like us who read care2 and similar already know about the issues. WWF will you get out to the rest of the world and tell them!! Sorry but i give monay every month to WWF and others and unless we start closing down businessess that sell illegally logged timber products or doing something REALLY drastic, then we haven't time to wait for the general public to start waking up to the problem. NO-ONE in my office, for example has any idea about palm oil (except for those i have bored with the facts). Compare this little office with the rest of the world and the rainforest is in REAL trouble. What the hell can be done?

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

Palm Oil is in virtually all manufactured products ie cookies, frozen foods, etc. Do people still need reminders to read labels? These plantations have devastated much of Indonesia and the Govt is also involved in logging businesses. Huge fires lit spread ash and smoke for thousands of km. as they clear the land for palm oil plantations and wildlife really suffers as their habitat dwindles.
I hope these readers think beyond the beauty of these cats and change their habits in order to protect the orangutang and cats of this island.

Linda O.
Linda Owen4 years ago

I want to pet the tiger with the long tail! Sooooo beautiful!

Bruce S.
Bruce S.4 years ago

Look at the size of that tail!