African golden cat
African golden cat filmed hunting in daytime for first time.Panthera

One of the most elusive wild cats has been captured hunting in daylight for the first time.

The African golden cat was filmed hunting red colobus monkeys as they were gathered around feeding on the dead wood of a tree stump in Kibale National Park.

The camera trap had been set up by Samuel Angedakin, Kibale Project Manager for the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology's Pan African Programme.

Additional footage showed another African golden cat sleeping in a tree was filmed by Yasuko Tashiro of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University.

Filmed in the Kalinzu Forest Reserve in Uganda, the cat is shown being harassed by monkeys before it climbs down, giving up on the idea of having a nap.

The African golden cat is only found in the forests of Central and West Africa. They weigh between five and 16kg and are about the size of a bobcat.

Golden cats are threatened by intensive bushmeat hunting and loss of habitat from deforestation.

David Mills, a graduate student from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is currently studying the species in Kibale Forest, said in a statement: "It is an exciting and rare glimpse into the world of this fascinating cat. We know a lot more about golden cats than we did a few years ago and yet we still know almost nothing about their behaviour.

"Primatologists in Kibale have observed monkeys emitting alarm calls at golden cats on several occasions and, considering this latest evidence, it's not hard to see why."

African golden cat
African golden cats are threatened by deforestation and hunting.Philipp Henschel/Panthera

Fellow student Laila Bahaa-el-din said: "An adult red colobus monkey is a considerable opponent for an African golden cat. With the golden cat failing to make a fatal bite immediately on ambush, it had to make a hasty retreat.

"Watching a golden cat in full ambush of large monkeys in this video provides hunting details we could previously only piece together from brief sightings. It also portrays nicely why monkeys might mob a golden cat, as can be seen in the unique footage of a golden cat trying in vain to catch a cat nap while precariously perched in the fork of a tree."