New Animal Discovered in Borneo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 5th, 2005

What do you think this looks like? There is exciting news out of Borneo. A new red-furred animal larger than a domestic cat has reportedly been discovered on this remote island of Indonesia.

Borneo Animal

On December 5, 2005, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced that they have discovered the “first new carnivore to be found in the region since the Tonkin otter-civet emerged in Vietnam in 1930.” Also, the WWF said it would be the first new mammal to be specifically found on the island of Borneo since the Borneo ferret-badger in 1895.

The new carnivore was found in Kayan Mentarang National Park in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

According to reports in The Times of London and other sources the “only evidence that exists are photographs taken by an automatically triggered camera on a jungle trail in Indonesia in 2003. Infuriatingly, a large leaf obscured the creature’s face as the shutter went off.”

Stephen Wulffraat, discoverer of the so-far unnamed animal, noted: “We showed the photos to locals who know the wildlife of the area, but nobody had ever seen this creature before. We also consulted several Bornean wildlife experts. Some thought it looked like a lemur, but most were convinced it was a new species of carnivore.”

But doesn’t it seem obvious this looks more like a civet, than a primate?

The photographs show, writes reporters Nick Meo and Nigel Hawkes, “an enigmatic, red-furred creature with tiny ears and distinctive markings. The leaf that obscures its face makes it impossible to say if it has a pointed snout like a dog or fox, or a flat face like a cat. A second photo, from behind, shows it to have a long, bushy tail rather like a fox, and large hind legs. It is slightly larger than a domestic cat.”

The mystery animal’s pictures were initially taken by WWF field researchers in 2003, but the photos were kept unpublished by the WWF as research continued. The WWF decided to make public the photos with the release of a book about Borneo.

The animal is slightly larger than a domestic cat with dark red fur and a long bushy tail. It was photographed twice by a night camera trap.

The photograph here is copyrighted by the WWF, and reproduced here for research purposes.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

5 Responses to “New Animal Discovered in Borneo”

  1. shovethenos responds:

    This should definitely make the “Top Stories in 2005” list.

  2. Cameron responds:

    It looks like some sort of viverrid. I agree that this should be a top story.

  3. Cameron responds:

    Checking through the species known to inhabit Borneo, it actually does rememble one species called Hose’s Palm Civet, which happens to be extremely poorly known.

    I am somewhat confused that they have an illustration of an animal with reddish fur (like the pic), but say it is dark brown to black on top. Other than the Otter Civet, it appears to be the only unmarked viverrid on the island. There’s barely any information out there on the species, and I haven’t found any indication of a red color morph, other than the picture.

    Apparently the animal has been captured in photo traps recently (so it is alive), and I do see a resemblance, color nonwithstanding, between the two.

    First photo.

    Second photo.

    I’m not saying that it is Hose’s palm civet, it could be a potential unknown related species/subspecies.

  4. CryptoInformant responds:

    The WWF animal is red, not black like the other two.

  5. kittenz responds:

    WOW I was just browsing back thru all the blogs and saw this. I think it is an individual of the etremely rare Borneo Bay Cat. They are so rare, and so elusive, that the first living specimen was photographed in 1992. They are slender creatures with a beautiful bright reddish-cinnamon color coat, very small ears, and a very long tail. The photos I have seen of the Borneo Bay Cat greatly resemble this picture. They are so rare that ANY sighting of one could be considered a sighting of a cryptid!

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