Wildcat kittens, which will likely be among the first of their species to be released into the wild in Britain, have been born in the Saving Wildcats conservation breeding for release centre at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park.
After 16 wildcats were paired up earlier this year, the European partnership project has welcomed eight kittens in three litters so far and the Saving Wildcats team is hopeful for more births over the coming weeks.
Led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Saving Wildcats is working with national and international experts to restore Scotland’s critically endangered wildcat population by breeding and releasing them into carefully selected locations in the Cairngorms National Park.
David Barclay, Saving Wildcats conservation manager, said “Put simply, these kittens are the future of wildcats in Scotland. Decades of extensive research have shown their species is highly likely to go extinct in Britain if we do not carry out releases to restore our critically endangered wildcat population. It is still early days for our new wildcat kittens who are very vulnerable in their first weeks and months. They have a lot to learn over the next year, but our expert Saving Wildcats keepers will be on hand to help prepare them for the many challenges of life in the wild. We have a very hands-off approach with the cats to give them the best possible chance of survival after release. This means we are only able to monitor the kittens on remote cameras at the moment, though we have been able to confirm there are at least eight kittens from three litters so far and hope there will be more to follow in the coming weeks.”
Posted On: 19/05/2022