This unbelievable photo of an “Amazon snake cat” is just that — unbelievable.
A photo of the so-called “Serpens Catus,” a feline with black and neon-yellow stripes resembling a snake, went viral in social media posts this week claiming it was the “rarest species of feline on Earth”.
“Serpens catus is the rarest species of feline on Earth. These Animals live in hard-to-reach regions of the Amazon rainforest, and therefore they are relatively poorly studied,” a Twitter user claimed. “The first images capturing the snake cat appeared only in 2020. Weighs up to 4 stone (25kgs).”
One now-deleted “Serpens Cattus” Reddit post caught the eye of several commenters who flagged the feline as not being fur real.
“Obvious fake. No known gene can produce natural hair or fur of those (navy and bright yellow) colours,” one commenter said.
“Really rough attempt at a fake Latin name,” a second person chimed in. “One google about species naming would have made this a lot less obvious.”
The Post has reached out to zoology experts to verify the authenticity of the photo.
However, the colour and patterns in the photo bear a strong resemblance to the reptilian boiga dendrophila, which is commonly referred to as the “gold-ringed cat snake”.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the snake is found in the same countries where the “Amazon snake cat” was rumoured to be found.
The so-called serpent cat slithered its way onto TikTok where one user claimed that the species lived in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.
“He’s in the next fantastic beasts,” laughed one user referencing the Harry Potter spin-off franchise.
“Use this s**t for good not to misinform,” slammed another user.
“Stop sharing bulls**t,” admonished another person.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission