The cat, which is about the same size as a domesticated house kitty, also is now about to become a media star, as the photo this week won a BBC Wildlife camera-trap photo competition.

PHOTOS: Animals at Risk

Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) occur across the Amazon and along the tropical Andes, according to a Wildlife Conservation Society press release. It's the smallest cat species of South America's lowlands, and much about it remains a mystery.

WCS researchers Guido Ayala, Maria Viscarra, and Robert Wallace came across the image during camera trap surveys of jaguars and other wildlife living in Madidi, which is considered to be among the most biodiverse protected areas on the planet.

The photo now serves as a new record for oncilla in Madidi. It pushes the number of confirmed cat species in the park to six, with at least two more waiting to be confirmed.