Sunday, September 28, 2008

Borneo Cat Names
It's been interesting when traveling to clouded leopard range countries to see how local people often don't really differentiate between the types of wild cats found in their area. For example, in Thailand most people refer to all the wild cats as seua, or "tiger." The situation is similar in Malaysian Borneo. Except for the clouded leopard, all the Borneo cat names include "kucing," or cat, pronounced "kuching" - the name of the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. While many people recognize the Malay name for leopard cat, kucing batu, using the other Malay names for cats will be met with glazed faces. There are likely many different names in the local dialects, but here are the Malay names and translations for the five species:

Clouded Leopard - Harimau dahan (branch tiger):

Photo by Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross

Marbled cat - Kucing dahan (branch cat):

Photo by Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross

Leopard cat - Kucing batu (stone/rock cat):

Photo by Andreas Wilting

Flat-headed cat - Kucing hutan (forest cat):

Karen Povey

Bay cat - Kucing merah (red cat):

Photo by Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross


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