Wednesday 22 January 2020

Watching this newborn fishing cat is just too much to bear

Seriously, if you don’t want to see this kitten video, there’s something wrong.

The kitten amongst their toys
The kitten amongst their toys

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Never seen a fishing cat kitten being fed by hand? Well, few have.

The species is endangered, but a tiny little male has just been born at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden – so here’s your opportunity.

That quivering bundle of joy became the first fishing cat kitten born at the US zoo since 1997 on March 31.

He weighed in at just 164 grams at birth and was born via a caesarean for health reasons after his mother Miri passed her due date.

Unfortunately Miri didn’t display signs of maternal care to the kitten when he was reintroduced to her, so he is now being hand-reared, with round-the-clock care at the zoo’s Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital.

The kitten raising its head

The kitten, who doesn’t have a name yet, is being nursed in shifts by staff to allow for feeds every few hours.

He is also accompanied by two stuffed animals in his makeshift habitat, complete with his mother’s urine scent, to help him feel comfortable.

Staff say he has a healthy appetite and is meeting developmental milestones.

The kitten’s birth is part of a breeding effort to protect the species, which is native to India and Indonesia, and has been found across south and south-east Asia.

An adult fishing cat

Fishing cats are solitary hunters that commonly live in wetlands, by swamps and near rivers so they can hunt their main prey – fish.

They are also known to hunt birds, insects and small rodents, and live an average of 10-12 years in captivity.

The species is under threat due to habitat destruction, hunting and the exotic pet trade.

PA Media

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