Rare mongoose photographed in Indonesia

Aug. 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM
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JAKARTA, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A camera trap in Indonesia has captured an image of a rare redheaded mongoose, conservation group Flora & Fauna International announced.

At first not recognized by local conservationists, the animal looking like an oversized, orange-coated weasel is believed to be an unusual color variation of the usually brown collared mongoose, LiveScience.com reported.

Flora & Fauna International said the images were taken during a training session for rangers in a wildlife reserve in Aceh, a province of Indonesia on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra.

While the discovery in Indonesia is unusual, wildlife experts say, camera trap surveys in nearby Malaysian Borneo have yielded five photographic records of mongooses with a distinct reddish-orange pelt.

FFI officials say they believe the animal belongs to the species Herpestes semitorquatus, recorded in Sumatra only occasionally.

FFI said camera traps have proven a useful technique to document scarce species in Sumatra.

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