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Four jungle cat kittens successfully released in Maharashtra

Wildlife SOS and Maharashtra Forest Department successfully rehabilitated and released four jungle cat kittens from Otur Forest Range. Despite failed reunification attempts, the kittens thrived at MLRC

By Ground report
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Four jungle cat kittens successfully released in Maharashtra
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In a collaborative effort, Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department have successfully rehabilitated and soft-released four female jungle cat kittens rescued from the Otur Forest Range. The kittens, estimated to be around six to seven days old at the time of rescue, were found in Domewadi in Otur and admitted to the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center (MLRC) for immediate care and rehabilitation.

Despite efforts by the forest department and Wildlife SOS to reunite the kittens with their mother, these attempts were unsuccessful. The kittens were then placed under the meticulous care of the MLRC team. An enclosure mimicking their natural habitat was constructed near the jungle area within the center, providing the kittens with a safe yet authentic setting to develop essential survival skills.

During their stay at MLRC, the kittens were initially fed a diet resembling their mother’s milk. As they grew older, they were gradually introduced to solid foods, preparing them for life in the wild. After approximately three months, the kittens were ready for the next phase of their rehabilitation. A small opening leading towards the jungle was created as part of a soft release protocol, allowing the kittens to explore and adapt to their natural habitat at their own pace.

Dr. Avinash Visalkar, Veterinary Officer at Wildlife SOS, commented, “The kittens have shown remarkable adaptability to their new environment. For the initial days following their release, Wildlife SOS has been providing supplemental food to ensure their sustenance as they adjust to the wild. The organization will continue to monitor the kittens to ensure their successful transition to independence.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, added, “Wildlife SOS is proud of this successful rehabilitation and release, which underscores the importance of dedicated wildlife conservation efforts. We extend our gratitude to the forest department staff and all those involved in this mission.”

Amit Bhise, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Junnar Division, praised the efforts, saying, “The prompt action by the forest department officials and Wildlife SOS is commendable. Their combined efforts have given these jungle cat kittens a second chance at life in the wild.”

The jungle cat (Felis chaus), also known as the reed cat and swamp cat, is a medium-sized cat native to the Middle East, the Caucasus, South and Southeast Asia, and southern China. It inhabits wetlands like swamps and riparian areas with dense vegetation. Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, the jungle cat population has shown a declining trend.

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