Big-Eyed Pallas Kittens Pad Around the Rocks
August 22, 2011
The latest arrivals at the Highland Wildlife Park may look cute and cuddly, but these are three Pallas’s cat kittens from the high altitude regions of central Asia. The first Pallas’s cat kittens ever born around June 4 at the Highland Wildlife Park in the UK, to dad Beebop and mum Alula. They are now nine weeks old and are getting brave enough to explore their enclosure.
At first glance these gorgeous kittens look like a bit like domestic Persian cats with their rounder, fluffy appearance -- but with shorter ears. Pallas’s cats are mainly grey in colour with dark spots on the head and a dark ringedtail. Perfectly suited at blending into their rocky surroundings, Asian Pallas’s cats are found in the high plateaus and mountains of central Asia, from Iran to western China and Mongolia. These beautiful wild creatures are adapted to a life at very high altitudes and have thick fur to protect them against the environmental extremes of their habitat.
A small wild cat, the Pallas’s cat is currently classified as near threatened and has a decreasing wild population due to harmful agricultural practices and fur trapping.The European Zoo Association breeding program for this unusual and highly specialized cat species is managed by staff at the Highland Wildlife Park.