When an old cattle farm became a construction site, a Russian farmer found four abandoned kittens. The farmer was worried for their safety and hoped the mother cat was somewhere nearby.
The kittens could not even open their eyes yet; the farmer noticed that something was different about their appearance. Something about their fur and stocky posture seemed a little different.
He called Daursky Nature Reserve who came to see the kittens. The visit from wildlife workers led to quite the revelation.
The wildlife workers determined that the newborn kittens were “Pallas’s cats,” or also called “Manul.” They are wild Asian cats that live in the grasslands of Central Asia.
They are the size of a domestic cat, have round eyes, flat faces, a stout frame, and thick fur. Their round ears are lower and wider apart than your average house cat.
The wildlife workers were afraid that the kittens would not be able to reintroduce them to the wild. Without a mother to raise them, the kittens were in danger. The workers decided to take them back to the reserve, where a couple of domestic cats cared for them.
Unfortunately, the four kittens contracted toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that claimed the lives of two of the young felines. The two remaining cats, a male named Murgen and a female named Masha, survived and were later released into the wild the following autumn.
Because of the harsh winter, the two cats returned to the shelter. But after another release in the spring, the cats didn’t return.
Daursky Nature Reserve workers said that since the cats have returned to the wild, they will no longer approach humans, and humans should not approach them with offers of food or to pet them. Grown Pallas’s cats are considered fierce predators who are surviving in their natural habitat, the inhospitable grasslands.
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