Okay, I made up that nickname for Leopardus colocola, but it’s appropriate for a little feline (with many different looks) that has boffins like the Cat Specialist Group so puzzled, they can’t be sure if there are seven subspecies or none.
Also, the colocolo — or pampas cat — inhabits a wide variety of South American habitats. Still, you might see one in a tropical swamp or mangrove.
You would have to be very lucky, though.
Pampas cats are seldom encountered anywhere in the wild.
All the videos I could find of them come from more temperate places.
For instance, this individual is in northwestern Peru:
The next one, defending itself from a culpeo (one of those South American “foxes”), looks a bit like an Andean mountain cat — sometimes the only way to tell the two cat species apart is by nose color: Pampas cats, pink; Andean cat, black!
Sorry about the music. Per the YouTube note, this happened at an altitude of around 4 km in the Atacama Desert region! Good thing it wasn’t a whole pack.
But this, too, is a pampas cat —
— and so is this:
L. colocola is a joker, all right.
- ISEC page
- Animal Diversity Web page
- Classification: Jargon-free and technical
Some lagniappe, and basically why scientists try so hard to classify pampas cats, and all other living beings:
Some experts call that common ancestor he mentions “LUCA.”
Featured image: R. Alberto Sosa/Shutterstock