A successful artificial insemination of an Asian Golden Cat was performed at Allwetter Zoo, which the zoo is calling the world's first for this species. On April 7, after a gestation period of approximately 75-80 days, twin cubs were born. One is being nursed by the mother, and the other is being cared for by keepers to ensure both of these rare and important babies will grow strong and develop well.
The cubs are nursing well and putting on weight. They will not be interested in meat until at least a month old. You can watch a video HERE. The narration is in German but you can hear the cub roar in the first few seconds and see it nursing and getting scritches.
Asiatic Golden Cats are highly threatened with extinction in the wild, so breeding them in zoos is one very important way to conserve the species. However, procreation and the successful rearing of their offspring is fraught with difficulties, since not every pairing of males and females works well. And since few zoos keep Asian Cats, changing the pairings can be quite a challenge. These beautiful and rare cats only live in three zoos in Germany (Heidelberg, Münster, Wuppertal, Germany), and in four other zoos in Europe. So while there has been little success with artificial insemination of wild cats worldwide, the zoo still chose this approach.
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