Almost extinct Scottish wildcat sent to rewilding centre in bid to save species

AstraZeneca: EU nations' suspension of jab criticised by expert

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.

A young female wildcat, named Nell, is the first of 16 cats who will be prepared for life in the wild. Experts hope to release the cats from captivity in 2022. Nell was selected from Alladale Wilderness Reserve earlier this month and has now settled at the Saving Wildcats breeding-for-release centre. The conservation centre is located at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Highland Wildlife Park in the Scottish Highlands.

The rewilding centre provides breeding space, veterinary care, remote monitoring and training to prepare cats for life in the wild.

It is hoped that any kittens born to Nell will be the first wildcats release into the Highlands next year as part of the project to restore the species in Scotland.

Once dubbed the Tiger of the Highlands, it is thought there are now less than 35 wildcats left in the wild. Habitat loss, persecution and breeding with domestic cats has left wildcats on the brink of extinction.

Saving Wildcats ex-situ conservation manager, David Barclay, said: “Saving Wildcats is an incredibly exciting partnership bringing together the necessary resources and expertise to save Scotland’s iconic wildcat.

“Nell is the first cat to be introduced into our breeding for release centre at Highland Wildlife Park and she has settled well into her new surroundings.

“A further 15 cats will be arriving at the centre in the coming weeks, giving us a healthy, genetically diverse population to breed from.

“Offspring will then be transferred to larger pre-release enclosures as they mature where they will undergo a dedicated training programme to prepare them for life in the wild. 

“We hope the first cats will be ready to be introduced into a site in the Scottish Highlands in 2022.”

Wildcats are not a threat to humans or other animals. They prefer to avoid confrontation and, just like domestic cats, will protect their territories and young.

Queen’s relief at Prince Philip return ‘can rely on his advice'[ROYAL]

Vanessa Feltz FURIOUS at ‘hideous’ EU vaccine farce[COVID]
UK signs historic fishing deal with EU and Norway for North Sea[BREXIT]

Like many cats, wildcats hunt small animals for food like rodents, birds, amphibians and insects.

The wildcat has a long history in Scottish culture and mythology and was celebrated by many Highland clans who used the wildcat in their crests.

Saving Wildcats hails the cats as “one of Scotland’s most iconic species, embodying wild nature for the Scottish Highlands. 

You can learn more about Saving Wildcats here.

Source: Read Full Article