Following on from their announcement of kittens, David and I were keen to return to the Rare Species Conservation Centre (RSCC) to see the new arrivals. However, on Saturday, we timed things badly and as a result, didn’t get to spend as much time there as we wanted to. I decided to rectify this by revisiting RSCC today, on my own. The plan was to get down there as soon as they opened and to stay until closing time.
RSCC is home to many endangered and rare species of animals but today, it was all about their rare cats and even rarer kittens. It was an amazing day and one that surpassed all of my expectations. This was in large thanks to the amazing staff who were extremely helpful and let me know when it was feeding time so that I could maximise my photo opportunities.
I have so many favourite photos from my day with these incredibly beautiful rare cats and their impossibly cute kittens. My favourite feline has to be the lovely Pamir.
Pamir is the youngest daughter of Tula and Wei-Shand. She was born at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation last year and moved to RSCC in March 2011. It is hoped that she and Genghis will breed at some point. Pamir is such a sweet natured cat and I was so pleased to finally get a decent picture of her.
I could have happily stayed for hours with the Pallas Cats. Pamir’s appearance made it very difficult for me to move on however, a little boy came to tell me that the Fishing Cat kittens had made an appearance, so I just had to go.
Have you ever seen a more sweet sight than that of 3 little Fishing Cat kittens sitting together?
These adorable kittens were born on 5th April so are 8 weeks old and as cute as a button.
Like all kittens, they weren’t shy at all and even started to climb the fence so that they could look into my lens hood! At that moment, I really wished I had a smaller lens on my camera or even my macro lens since that could have given me some interesting pictures.
Having fed and frolicked to their hearts’ content, the kittens were tired and needed their nap.
I figured they would all be sleeping for a while so decided to leave them in peace and go grab some lunch. Well, that was the plan until I saw that all the cats in the Amazonian area were out and about.
First up, we have the Black Footed Cat. Native to Africa, the Black Footed Cat is one of the smallest breed of wild cats. To give you an idea of how small they are, this male cat is just over a year old and is the same size as a 3 month old domestic kitten. This little guy is such a cutie and I just wanted to take him home with me.
Next up, we have the Desert Sand Cats also known as the Arabian Sand Cat. These cats have the most amazing deep voice that belies their small frame.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the beautiful red jaguarundi was pregnant.
And here is the father. The jaguarundis come in two colours, red or gray. I hope the kittens get their mother’s looks!
By now, I was uncomfortably warm and in need of some fresh air so I left the area thinking to cool down by Short and Long Face, the juvenile Fishing Cats.
It was lovely to see them so settled into their new enclosure complete with a stream for them to play in.
Kirgiz, the male Snow Leopard was trying to keep cool sitting on the rocks. As the temperature rose, he decided to retire to join his mate, Aida in their cool cave.
As the day drew to a close, I headed back into the Amazonian area, determined to catch a glimpse of the elusive Rusty Spotted Cats. I was not disappointed. This sweet little rusty spotted kitten was born on 25th April. Isn’t he just the cutest thing you have ever seen?
As I said at the beginning of my blog post, I had an absolutely amazing day with more photo opportunities than I had hoped for. If you would like to see more images of these beautiful rare cats and kittens, please see my gallery below. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version of the image.