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Rescued leopard cat cub nearly adopted as pet in central Taiwan

Rescuers save ‘cute kitten’ from drowning, find out it is a protected species

(Wildlife Rescue and Research Center photo)

(Wildlife Rescue and Research Center photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A person surnamed Wu (吳) in Nantou City that rescued a “kitten” from drowning found out the animal is actually a leopard cat cub just before adopting it, UDN reported on Wednesday (Sept. 22).

Wu’s neighbor found the “kitten” and saved it after hearing meowing outside the house. The neighbor left the animal on Wu’s farm property to dry out and tried to feed it dog food; when it refused to eat and Wu did not see a mother come pick it up, Wu took it home for protection.

According to UDN, though Wu did find the “kitten” unusual, he or she fell under its spell of cuteness and reached an agreement with the family to adopt the animal.

When Wu shared the kitten’s photo with friends to get advice about raising it, a friend said it did not seem to be a cat. The rescuer then discovered the true identity of the animal through an internet search and contacted relevant parties to arrange for the cub’s transfer, per UDN.

“Leopard Cat Preservation Ambassador,” the Facebook page managed by the Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute, posted about rushing to take the cub to the Wildlife Rescue and Research Center (WRRC). It said the cub was weak and its eyes were crusted with secretion when it arrived, but it was taken care of by veterinarians.

Rescued leopard cat cub nearly adopted as pet in central Taiwan
(Endemic Species Research Institute photo)

The leopard cat was male and around three to four weeks of age, reported UDN, and the WRRC said the leopard cat was slightly skinny and dehydrated but otherwise healthy in a Facebook post. It said the mother was probably frightened by land-grading activities around its habitat and abandoned the runt when it escaped.

The WRRC will raise the cub with the goal of releasing it back into the wild after training and assessments. It added that leopard cats are usually active around low-altitude areas on mountains and are thus easily disturbed by human activity. It urged the public to protect their habitats by foregoing unnecessary land development.

Updated : 2021-10-23 20:05 GMT+08:00