The African golden cat (Profelis aurata) is little known by science, but is the subject of much tribal superstition in many parts of Africa. Pygmy tribes in Cameroon carry the tail of the African golden cat when hunting elephants to ensure good fortune, and the skin is used in some areas during circumcision rituals. The African golden cat is about twice the size of a large domestic cat and is robustly built with a short tail. Despite its name, the fur varies from marmalade orange-red to sepia-grey and may be spotted all over, unspotted or somewhere in between. Captive specimens have been known to change from grey to red and vice versa and this may also occur in the wild. The throat, chest and undersides are white or whitish, and the belly is marked with bold dark spots or blotches. Its round face has a heavy muzzle, and the small, blunt, un-tufted ears have black backs. Males are larger and heavier than females. The African golden cat is also known as the ‘leopard’s brother’ as local people believe it follows the leopard.

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