Three Fishing Cat kittens, two males and one female, were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Jul. 29, 2011. These photos were taken during a routine vet check-up, but for now these water-loving felines are with their mother in a secluded den where they will remain for the next few weeks. This is the first offspring for this pair of Fishing Cats that came to the Columbus Zoo in 2010 as part of the Species Survival Plan for these endangered animals.
Adult fishing cats are twice the size of a domestic cat and range in weight from 15-35 pounds; males weigh significantly more than females. True their name, Fishing Cats love nothing more than a good fish dinner, but will also snack on crustaceans, mollusks, frogs and snakes. In fact, these cats are large to enough to hunt larger game and occassionally will take down a small wild pig or deer.
The nocturnal Fishing Cat is found in southern Asia in densely vegetated areas near marshes, mangroves, rivers and streams as well as in tropical dry forests. Water pollution, clearing of forests for settlements and agricultural use, and over-exploitation of local fish stocks are a threat to the Fishing Cat. The Columbus Zoo’s conservation program has supported assessments of distribution, status and movements of fishing cats in their native habitat as well as workshops and school awareness programs in Fishing Cat range countries.