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Scientists found a new kind of cat-fox that was previously thought to be a myth.

For a long time, shepherds in Corsica told stories about meter-long cats with long, sharp teeth that would attack ewes and goats at night. People thought these stories were just a myth. However, in 2008, one of these cats got caught in a chicken coop by accident, which made scientists want to look into the new cat species even more.

Researchers from the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) recently caught the animal dubbed the “cat-fox.” They are sure that this is the creature that was previously thought to be a myth.

People call this cat-fox in English or the Corsican word for “cat-fox,” “ghjattu volpe,” or “chat renard.” This cat is different from other cats in some ways. This cat-fox is longer than most domestic cats. It is 90 cm (35 inches) long from head to tail.

Short whiskers and wide ears are also found on the cat-fox. Another thing that makes them unique is that their tail has four rings and a black tip. This animal was found by a top environmental technician for the National Hunting and Wildlife Office. Pierre Bendetti couldn’t hide his excitement about it. “It’s a great find,” he told AFP. There is even more reason to be happy for him. He was able to hold the fox-cat, which is thought to be the first of its kind.

Because it’s a very small animal with nocturnal habits, we think it’s a wild natural species that was known but not scientifically identified because it’s very hard to see. The animal was caught using nonviolent methods, as were 12 other cat-foxes that have been caught since 2016. It is thought that 16 of them live in Corsica.

In our mythology, the cat-fox is part of what we call the “cat-fox.” People have told stories about how forest cats would eat the udders of their sheep and goats for generations. Antone Cecchini, an ONCFS agent, says that another ONCFS agent told him about these stories as well. The researchers hope that in a few years, the cat-fox will be officially known and protected. All the images are from AFP.

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