Ferocious! Black-footed Kittens at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
April 26, 2012
Reaching only about 3.5 lbs as adults, Black-footed Cats may be the world's smallest felines. When these two little kittens were born April 2 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, they weighed-in at just 7 ounces (200 grams). The kittens' sexes have yet to be determined. They were born to mom, Godiva, and father, Wyatt.
Wyatt is considered a genetically valuable animal whose genes and offspring are an important contribution to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Black-footed Cats. There are about 18 accredited institutions in North America with Black- footed Cats and this is the third litter for Cleveland Metroparks.
Black-footed Cats are the smallest of the African cats, with adults reaching about 3.5 pounds when fully grown. Their conservation status is listed as “vulnerable” in the wild. Black-footed Cats are found in the grasslands and savannas of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The gestation period is from 63 to 68 days, resulting in a litter of 1-3 kittens. Kittens develop quickly, eating solid food at five weeks and capturing prey at six.
Photo credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo