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Posted on July 6, 2009
Providing health monitoring of wild animals in the Lazovsky natural reserve, we capture different species, including ungulates, small carnivores and rodents. All of them are potential prey of Amur leopard.
However specie that we consider to be most valuable for us is not potential prey of this big rare cat (though, it’s possible in very few cases. I speak about Amur leopard’s smaller fellow – about the Amur leopard cat (Felis euptilura).
We consider this animal to be most valuable for us according to following reasons. For the first, leopard cat (differently from other carnivorous species – canids and mustelids) has big number of infectious deseases which are common with Amur leopard.
Biological samples from this animal can give us more valuable information about presence high risk diseases for Amur leopard in the region.
For the second, this cryptic and cautious animal is not easy to be caught. This fact gives to this event some value. Capture of leopard cat is always big delight for us.
Not long ago fortune smiled to us and the leopard cat got to our cage. It was young female about two years old. It is astonishing how color of this gracefulanimal agrees with its name “leopard cat”.
Our cat began to show agression only when we approached to her on one meter for anesthetic injection.
Procedure was an immediate success; we obtained all necessary biological samples and made examination of the animal. It turned out, that she probably had kittens at that moment, because her mammal glands were enlarged and sucked.
This fact made us as happy as it disturbed us, because her children stayed alone on the time of procedures and animal’s recovery after anesthesia. But our cat had short recovery period (usually it takes little more time) and we released animal to the kittens even before the sunset.
This project is funded by the UK’s Darwin Initiative.