Farmer Finds Strange Kittens, but Can’t Believe What They Actually Turn Out to Be
Apple| | By Jason Owen
When the tiny cries of kittens could be heard on his land, one Russian farmer was left confused by the little gray animals he found. They resembled house cats, but they had flatter faces and ears and that were stocky compared to the lean kittens he was used to seeing. The kittens’ fur was also thicker and more course. Perplexed, the unnamed farmer took his newfound litter to the Daursky Nature Reserve. Researchers at the nature reserve quickly discovered that the farmer’s kittens were no ordinary cats.
It turns out the farmer stumbled upon a rare litter of Pallas cats, also known as manuls, a species of wild feline endemic to Central Asia. Giving up his rare find, the Daursky Nature Reserve took the kittens from the farmer. The caretakers introduced two domesticated cats to the babies in hopes the house cats would help nurse the kittens. Turns out, the mother cats loved them just the same as their own. The manuls grew stronger and healthier, but the reserve knew they wouldn’t be able to keep them forever. The manuls were tagged and released into the wild, but things didn’t go as planned. Unaccustomed to life in the wild, the manuls lost a great deal of weight. The radio trackers the reserve had placed on the cats were lost and the caretakers had trouble monitoring them. The Reserve decided to bring the manuls back to wait out the winter. When spring finally came around, the manuls once again went out into the world on their own, this time finding it much easier to hunt and fend for themselves. The litter thrived. The manul siblings are now all grown up and living on their own, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Daursky Nature Reserve workers and their own family of cats. This is one story of felines that will surely go down in the manuls of history.
(h/t Honest to Paws)
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