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Endangered cat makes debut to underscore conservation

Endangered cat makes debut to underscore conservation

Taipei, July 27 (CNA) A leopard cat made her debut at Taipei Zoo Sunday, serving as a "spokeswoman" for conservation of the endangered species. The leopard cat, named Chipao, was born in the Endemic Species Research Center of the Council of Agriculture, but was released into the wild on Dec. 20, 2013 when it was eight months old. Automatic cameras monitoring the cat's progress found her limping on a front leg after only eight days in the wild and caught her hiding in tall grass looking emaciated on her 20th day of freedom, leading experts to decide to bring her in for treatment.
Chipao recovered well enough, but she was no longer fit to live in the wild because of the injury to her left front paw, and she was sent to the zoo to be cared for. The Taipei Zoo said Chipao moved into her new home on June 23 after a one-month quarantine period and is now more acclimated to the new environment, no longer tensing up when conservation workers want to get close to observe her. Although Chipao made her debut Sunday, she is a nocturnal animal that spends most of the daytime sleeping, and the zoo cautioned that visitors may have to "get lucky to see her." The leopard cat looks very much like a domestic cat, only with a lot of black spotty patches the size of a coin on its body, the zoo said. According to the zoo, the leopard cat is on the verge of extinction, with no more than 500 in the wild, which is why the COA's center has worked with the zoo since 2011 on a project for its conservation. (By Ku Chuan and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-08-03 19:00 GMT+08:00