London, Jan 17 (IANS) One of the world's most elusive wildcats, believed extinct after 2003, has been spotted in pictures from camera traps.
The Bornean Bay Cat, similar in size to a large domestic cat, has a long tail and either a reddish or grey coat.
Three pictures showing two or three of the Bay Cats were taken in the northern highlands of Sarawak state in Borneo, Malaysia by researchers working for the forestry department, the Telegraph reports.
The last pictures of the Bay Cat were taken in Lanjak Entimau wildlife sanctuary in southern Sarawak in 2003 and it had since been classified as extinct.
The new images, clicked in 2009 and 2010 but released after a wildlife study was completed, raise fresh hope as much of the primary rainforest had been cut down by illegal loggers devastating the natural habitat.
Researcher Wilhelmina Cluny said the Bay Cat was extremely secretive, so the new images represented a highly exciting development.
'I do feel encouraged... this photograph was taken in a logged forest. When we saw this it made us wonder whether this kind of habitat can sustain wildlife, even for rare and important species like the Bay Cat,' she said.