Topping off the trifecta of cute and cuddly kitty cats are the rare and spectacular Pallas' Cats. These three were born in July at the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota. The Zoo is especially proud of these curious little creatures because it has been trying to breed them for years. Well, congratulations! Can I have one?
Pallas’ cats are small brown-spotted cats a little larger than a large house cat. They are found in Central Asian Steppes at elevations of up to 13,000 ft. The cats are highly endangered and are very difficult to breed in captivity, and have young survive, due to disease.
"After several years, we have done it and have three viable offspring that are soon to go on to another zoo."
These offspring are then scheduled to breed once they are mature. The zoo has been participating in a global Species Survival Plan program for this species for about 4 years. This past year, the female gave birth in April, but neither of the offspring survived.
"After the kittens did not survive, we put the male and female together again and assumed we had to wait until next year for another litter."
To everyone's surprise, on July 4th, she gave birth again. Up until this birth, it was thought that this species had a very small breeding season and when it was missed, it was missed for the year.
"Now that we know different, it means many more cats could be bred in captivity. We have contributed not only cats, but valuable information to the program. Of course this is good news for the entire species!"
Bramble Park Zoo is a 20 acre AZA accredited zoo in northeaster South Dakota.