It's one of the most elusive species of cat on the planet, and no one really knows how many are left in the equatorial forest of central and west Africa, so it sure is special when we get to see one on film.

African golden cats (Caracal aurata) are medium-sized felines with slender faces, slightly rounded ears, and a striking coat the colour of burnt caramel, sometimes peppered with a faint layer of spots. They're extremely tricky to study - very few western scientists have ever spotted one in the wild - and we know very little about their movements and behaviour, which makes footage like this so essential.

Captured by a camera trap in Kibale National Park in south Uganda, it shows an African golden cat hurling itself at a group of red colobus monkeys before cutting its losses and retreating into the depths of the forest. "It really does give us insight. We really never had any footage like that before. The monkey must weigh more than the cat itself," Laila Bahaa-el-din, an African golden cat researcher at wild cat conservation group, Panthera, told Adam Vaughan at The Guardian. "It was thought to be nocturnal, we now know it isn't. Here, we're learning it hunts on the ground, not in trees, even if it goes up to the trees sometimes for security."

It's been just over a decade since scientists first managed to photograph an African golden cat in the wild, and now, alongside this amazing footage, we also get to see the first photographs of an African golden cat and her beautiful kittens (see above).

"Our camera trap photographs have shown that golden cat colour phases are roughly equally represented and do not show sex bias, so we assumed that mothers of each colour produce kittens of different colours as well," David Mills from the Wildlife Conservation Society Uganda and Panthera told Jeremy Hance at Mongabay. "These photographs show that indeed grey and red phase mothers produce grey kittens. Another photograph that is less clear also suggests a red adult with red juvenile." 

Head to Mongabay to see more of the kittens playing, they're just insanely cute.

And it appears that monkeys never forget, because the researchers at Panthera have also just released this new footage of an African golden cat being harassed by some feisty primates in a tree:

Sources: The Guardian, Mongabay