A female Asian golden cat shows its teeth inside a habituation cage at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Lampuung on Dec 9. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Golden Felines Return to The Wild
BY :YUDHA BASKORO
DECEMBER 11, 2020
The West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Jawa Barat) and the Balai Besar Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (TNBBS) have released two Asian golden cats (Catopuma temminckii) back into the wild in the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park conservation forest in Lampung, the southern tip of the island of Sumatra, on Dec 9 following their rescue from illegal traders.
The National Police in Jakarta initially confiscated these felines in Depok, West Java, two years ago. The Animal Sanctuary Trust Indonesia (ASTI) had taken care of the cats since then before their eventual return to their habitat.
The golden cat's natural habitat is the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, which covers a 356,800-hectare jungle area that stretches from Tanggamus and West Lampung districts in Lampung to Kaur district in Bengkulu.
An animal rescue team went to the national park on Tuesday with the two cats. The team kept the cats in a habituation cage in the jungle for one day before releasing them to let the cats acclimate to the jungle situated between 1,100 to 3,738 meters above sea level.
The population of Asian golden cat is severely decreasing due to poaching. The exotic animal is prized by locals who believe they have a delicious and tender flesh. Their bones are also used as medicine. Their skins are also illegally traded on the black market. The myth says that burning a single golden cat fur can repel a tiger.
The Asian golden cat is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species is also protected under Indonesian law.