By Kelli Bender Jun 27th 2012
The big cats of India received some unexpected, pint-sized visitors. According to theDeccan Chronicle, two rusty-spotted cats were seen pawing around the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan.
Activists and wildlife officials are excited that this adorable duo was seen out and about, because rusty-spotted cats are extremely rare. The smallest species of cat, the rusty-spotted cat measures around 13 to 18 inches long and weighs between two and three-and-a-half pounds. Aside from being rare, this species is also very shy, which makes it even more surprising that two volunteers spotted these tiny animals wandering around a big-cat reserve. The volunteers even managed to capture the encounter on camera.
The rusty-spotted cat has been recorded in the wild several times, but aside from this new footage, very few have seen the animal outside captivity. The species is native to Sri Lanka and India, and is protected by both countries. Hopefully, conservation efforts will lead to more rusty-spotted-cat sightings in the future.