Temminck’s golden cats, otherwise known as the Asian golden cats, have distinctive stripes on their cheeks and on the tops of their heads.
In Burma and Thailand, they are known as fire tigers because locals believe carrying some of the cat’s hair will keep tigers away. The species is solitary, however, little else is known of the species in the wild due to their secretive and nocturnal habits
Belfast Zoo is home to the only pair of Temminck’s golden cats in the UK. Their enclosures can be found opposite the gorilla house. The enclosure was specially designed with this secretive cat’s habits in mind. The male ‘Saigon’ can be found in the on show enclosure. He was born in Auckland Zoo in New Zealand. It is best to stop and have a really good look in the enclosure as often he likes to sit under the bushes at the back. Our female ‘Myo-tho’, who was born in Wuppertal Zoo in Germany, has an off-show enclosure with more privacy so hopefully in the future she can rear kittens.
Diet - Carnivore
Temminck’s golden cats are nocturnal animals which eat mostly large rodents and birds. They will however feast upon everything from insects to small wild pigs.
This cat can measure up to 160 centimetres (cm). They stand about 60cm high at the shoulder and can weigh up to 15 kilograms.
Temminck’s golden cats are found in both deciduous and tropical forests in south-east Asia, India and Nepal.
The Temminck’s golden cat is listed under Appendix I of CITES. The IUCN believes the golden cat may face extinction in the future.
The Temminck’s golden cat is hunted for the soft fur and also for traditional medicine.
Although it is reported that their numbers are decreasing in India and Indonesia there are no exact figures available.
There is an EEP for golden cats. There are 50 Temminck’s golden cats living in zoos worldwide.