Rare fishing cat born at Isle of Man wildlife park

An endangered fishing cat kitten has been born at the Curraghs Wildlife Park in the north of the Isle of Man.  A park spokesman said the eight-week animal was one of only 200 living in captivity world-wide.

Fishing cats are an endangered species of cat from Asia, which challenge the common understanding that all cats hate water.  The rare breed is described as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Park manager Kathleen Graham said: “Fishing cats are one of the more difficult cat species to breed in captivity as they are easily disturbed.  “This kitten is only one of about 10 born in the past year worldwide, so this is incredibly exciting news.”

The cats have developed webbed feet and live a semi-aquatic lifestyle.  In the wild they can be found from Northern India to Sri Lanka, Burma and across the Thai peninsular to Java and Sumatra.

They are threatened due to a loss of wetland habitat, water pollution and pesticide poisoning, according to the IUCN.