In a heartwarming story from 2016, a tiny baby kitten was discovered wandering alone in Thailand. A local family happened to notice the little creature while enjoying their evening. As they took a closer look, they realized that it wasn’t an ordinary kitten, unlike any they had encountered before.
The family reached out to The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), an animal organization, to assess the situation. Upon investigation, WFFT identified the kitten as a fishing cat, a rare species facing the threat of extinction. This chance encounter led to an extraordinary discovery and an opportunity to learn more about this unique species.
The fishing cat, a unique ‘wild cat’ species, can grow up to twice the size of a domestic cat and has a particular affinity for marine life. As its name suggests, this cat is an avid hunter and consumer of fish.
According to Wikipedia, the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat native to South and Southeast Asia. It has been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2016. Fishing cat populations have faced significant decline over the past decade due to the destruction of wetlands. These cats primarily inhabit areas near wetlands, such as rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, swamps, and mangroves.
The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) determined that the kitten had been born just a few hours before the family discovered it. Experts were puzzled by how the mother could have left her newborn, as such behavior is unusual for the species.
The family became fond of the rare kitten and was allowed to keep it for a trial period. They named the little feline Simba, and it was evident that the cat formed a strong bond with the family.
While caring for Simba, the family remained vigilant, constantly watching for the kitten’s mother, whom they assumed would return for her offspring at some point.
Unfortunately, the mother never returned for Simba. The family took on the responsibility of caring for the kitten, feeding him milk and helping him grow into a beautiful fishing cat. Thankfully, Simba has remained healthy and well.
However, it is crucial for Simba to continue thriving. The WFFT reports that poaching and retribution killing are responsible for a staggering 84% mortality rate among fishing cats in Thailand.
Simba’s rescue and survival are not only miraculous but also essential for the preservation of his endangered species. His existence plays a vital role in ensuring the continuation of the fishing cat population.
While the video mentioned below showcases other rescued cats, though not fishing cats, they are undoubtedly adorable. Animals, like humans, are living beings that play a crucial role in the balance of nature. By sharing stories like Simba’s, we can raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving all species, contributing to the flourishing of our planet.