How Long Can Borneo's New Creature Survive?

All we know about the mysterious beast of Borneo is that it comes out at night, has a long, muscular tail, and looks a bit like a cross between a domestic cat and a wide-eyed lemur.

Naturalists have taken just two photographs of the creature when it sauntered across the infrared beams of a night-time camera trap - and that was back in 2003. Repeated attempts since then to track down the animal in the dense jungles of Borneo's Kayan Mentarang National Park have failed. Even the locals, who know the jungle inside-out, profess to have no knowledge of the creature's existence.

Zoologists believe that the mammal, which is slightly larger than a cat and has dark red fur, is a new species of carnivore. It is the first meat-eating animal to be found in these forests since 1895 when a specimen of the Borneo ferret-badger was captured.

"It is incredibly unusual to find a new species of large carnivore and it's proving rather elusive and shy," said Callum Rankine, head of the species programme at WWF-UK, the wildlife conservation charity.

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