Tsushima Leopard Cat Kittens' Japan DebutBorn in May at Kyoto City Zoo
Kyoto City Zoo has decided that it will exhibit two Tsushima leopard cat kittens, designated as a national natural treasure, that were born on May 11, for one month only from October 11 to November 12. This is the first attempt in Japan to exhibit kittens. The zoo said, "It is possible that they will move to other zoos for reproduction in the future. We would like them to experience various environments while they are small and adaptable."
One male and one female kitten will be on exhibit at the Tsushima Leopard Cat area of the "Fierce Animal World" in the zoo. Both kittens weighed approximately 100 grams at birth, and they have been growing steadily. As of October 2, the male weighed 2,700 grams, and the female, 2,550 grams.
Tsushima leopard cats inhabit only the Tsushima islands, Nagasaki Prefecture. As they are in great danger of extinction, the Ministry of the Environment is carrying out projects for their protection and reproduction. Currently, a total of 35 cats are kept in nine zoos across Japan, including Kyoto City Zoo, as well as Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center.
The cats' usual behavior is for the mother and kittens to live together until the kittens are six to seven months old. In consideration of the stress on the mother cats, mothers and kittens have not been exhibited in Japan. However, the two kittens born in Kyoto City Zoo were raised by humans separately from their mother immediately after being delivered by cesarean section. Thus, the zoo decided that it is possible to exhibit them this time.
In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be guides on October 11, 22, 29, November 5 and 12. For more information, contact the zoo at 075-771-0210.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)