Here, kitty kitty.
A Russian farmer went out into his barn one night and happened upon a couple of helpless kittens. He brought them inside and decided they were too helpless to survive on their own and with whatever food he could put together.
Plus, they didn't look exactly like your regular tabby cat kittens.
They had markings that were foreign to the farmer.
And their ears were oddly shaped and larger than a regular house cat's.
They just had a wild look about them.
So the farmer decided to call Daursky Nature Reserve, a local wildlife rehabilitation center.
And they confirmed that these were not regular cats but Palla's cats, or manuls, a rare wild cat native to Central Asia.
The cats were brought to the reserve and two regular domestic cats actually adopted the wild cats as their own since they were still nursing.
The manuls grew stronger, wilder, and moved on from domestic cat milk.
Soon, the manuls were big and strong enough to return to the wild where they belong.
Manuls are a species of wild cat that have been classified as "near threatened" due to their declining population as a result of habitat degradation and hunting. They are small in stature, like a domestic cat, but have thicker fur to protect them from Central Asia's harsh winters. These cats belong in the wild.
It's easy to see how these wild cats can be mistaken as feral domestic cats but it was the right choice for the farmer to call the local wildlife center instead of raising them on his own!
This post was originally published on October 23, 2017.
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