There have been many kittens and cubs born at WHF and we have been lucky enough to photograph some of them. My favourite are the Pallas Cat kittens, specifically, Tula and Wei-Shand’s first litter, which consisted of two boys – Caspian and Aduva; and two girls – Pamir and Ulan Bator. The boys eventually went to Jardin des Plantes, while Ulan Bator went to Parc de Felins and Pamir to the Rare Species Conservation Centre.
I have had the pleasure of watching Pamir grow up at the RSCC and have even visited Ulan Bator at Parc de Felins but haven’t quite made it to see the boys.
We were quite fortunate to be able to photograph the Pallas Cat kittens as they were off-show at the time but we were allowed to photograph them from a safe distance away. This was more for the kittens’ safety than ours since they are vulnerable to toxoplasmosis until they are 4 years old!
Toba and Kubu, the Sumatran Tiger Cubs have given us some wonderful photographic opportunities since they were 10 weeks old. Access to the kittens and cubs at WHF is a lot more limited than say the RSCC but we still managed to capture images of them at 10 weeks, 16 weeks and then at 1 year old. Here they are at 10 weeks old.
At 16 weeks, these Sumatran Tiger Cubs still looked cute but you could see their faces were already changing. It was just lovely, watching them playing together.
Playing and practising their stalking skills…
I mean, how could you resist this face?
And those beautiful eyes.
As young sub adult tigers, Toba and Kubu they have lost all their cubbish looks and you can see what magnificent adults they are growing to be.
Xizi the Amur Leopard has also had two litter of cubs but we only managed to visit the second litter – a boy and a girl named Manchurian and Zeya respectively.
Taking photos of the amur leopard cubs proved to be quite challenging as Xizi was an extremely protective mother and kept charging at the fence.
Samia, the Serval cat was brought into WHF specifically to breed with Malawi. The result was also a boy, Mwazi and a girl named Jua.
These adorable kittens were just 2 months old when we visited them and as cute as a button. I look forward to having the opportunity to photograph them again as they get older.