The charming youngsters, gifted with stunning blue eyes, are playing a pivotal role in safeguarding their species through conservation initiatives.
The Novosibirsk Zoo located in Siberia has announced on VK.com, the Russian social media platform, that they have recently welcomed 16 wild kittens. These newborns were born in three litters, and their exact birth dates have not been disclosed. Tatyana Pevneva, head of the International Cooperation Department at the zoo, stated that three female cats gave birth in June, with one having three kittens, another having five, and the third having eight. The Pallas’ Cats (Otocolobus manul) were born with bright blue eyes, which will eventually change to green and then yellow as they mature. The zoo staff and veterinarians are closely monitoring the development of these cute creatures, and their future remains uncertain at this stage due to their young age.
The Novosibirsk Zoo is currently home to two adorable kittens, who are happily frolicking in their enclosure. These delightful little creatures are from the Pallas’ Cat breed, which has been bred at the zoo since 1995. The zoo plays an important role in supporting international and European conservation programs by sending these kittens to zoos all over the world. The descendants of the Pallas’ Cats that once lived in Novosibirsk can now be found in several countries, including Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Great Britain.
Breeding Pallas’ Cats in captivity is no easy feat and comes with a high mortality rate. These felines are typically found in rocky deserts and semi-arid regions across Central Asia to Mongolia. Unfortunately, the species is endangered due to habitat degradation and being hunted for its fur.
The Novosibirsk Zoo has become the home of a mother Pallas’s Cat and her two adorable kittens, captivating animal lovers. WWF’s data shows that there are only 12,000 of this species in the wild in Russia. As for those kept in captivity, only 30 were present at various zoos across the country by the end of 2019. Although the kittens sometimes explore their surroundings, they avoid strangers, including guests, by hiding. But, the zookeepers have observed that the kittens are gaining confidence, increasing the likelihood of catching a glimpse of them.