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Family Finds This Tiny ‘Kitten’ Outside Their Home Only To Find Out It’s Not What It Seems

There are few things sadder than seeing a stray animal struggling to survive on its own. When that animal is still a baby, its circumstances are even more dire. Luckily, rescue organizations and good Samaritans can step in to help when a stray is found.
A family in Thailand recently found a kitten lying in the street alone. Wanting to help, the family called a local wildlife organization to come and see what they could do. That’s when they learned that the animal they had found was no ordinary kitten…
A Thai family recently noticed a stray kitten lying in the road in front of their home. Upon further inspection, they realized that it wasn’t just a domestic kitten…
The family called a local rescue group Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. When the rescuers arrived they quickly realized that the kitten was actually a South East Asian species of cat known as a fishing cat and that it was on the brink of extinction.
The rescuers couldn’t comprehend why the kitten had been discovered without its mother. “Upon arrival we were surprised to find a tiny fishing cat kitten that was clearly only born a few hours ago,” a person from WFFT said.
As it turned out, the rescuers realized that the family who discovered the kitten had previously fostered its mother before releasing her back into the wild. Hence why she felt comfortable giving birth to her litter in front of their home.
Earlier in the day the family had noticed the mother cat moving her new litter of kittens to a safe spot and that’s when she dropped the discovered kitten. They waited a while for the mother to come back for her lost kitten, though she never did.
Rescuers from the WFFT arrived and brought the kitten to their wildlife hospital and named him Simba. Now at the hospital, Simba could get the special medical attention and care that he really needed.
Rescuers say it’s very important that Simba survives, not only for his own good, but also because fishing cats are on the brink of extinction. They’ve been listed as Vulnerable since 2016 with the destruction of their habitat in the wetlands.
“The fishing cat faces a high risk of extinction throughout its range and is thought to be amongst the most vulnerable of the small and medium-sized cats in Southeast Asia,” a representative from WFFT said. 
At just over two days old, he is on his way to making a full recovery. “For now, he is under round the clock care from our vet team, spending his time in a special incubator that creates a perfect environment where his special needs can be met,” staff at WFFT said.
“For now, he is good, we will have to wait and see what the coming days will bring.” It’s so important that Simba was recognized as a wild cat and got the proper care in order to return to the wild. When in doubt always call your local wildlife center.
This is exactly what a Russian farmer who recently discovered four strange little kittens in his barn did. They were so tiny that their eyes hadn’t even opened yet, and the farmer couldn’t seem to locate their mother anywhere.
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The farmer knew that the kittens were going to need a lot of help if they were going to survive, and he was more than prepared to provide them with it. But there was something strange about them, and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
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The farmer couldn’t identify them, but one thing was certain: these were nothing like the stray or feral cats that would typically wander around a farm like his! So he called the Daursky Nature Reserve with the hopes that their experts could help him identify the cats. What they told him was a complete surprise…
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The nature reserve was no stranger to this breed, and they quickly identified the kittens as Pallas’s cats, or manuls. They’re a rare species of wild cat that’s native to Central Asia. Luckily, two domestic cats at the facility were able to nurse the orphaned manuls as their own!
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The kittens flourished at the reserve, growing bigger and stronger each and every day until they were ready to be integrated back into the wild. As sad as it was to say goodbye, the reserve’s caretakers knew they were giving these cats a second chance at the life they deserved.
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However, it wasn’t long before they hit their first real hiccup on the road to independent living. During their first winter alone in the wild, the manuls lost the radio collars that the reserve placed around their necks in order to track their progress. They also lost a lot of weight.
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The team at the reserve ended up taking in the struggling manuls so they could be supervised for the rest of the winter. They planned to release them again in the spring when it might be easier for them to find food and adjust to the weather.
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Thankfully, the second time was a charm! Without having to contend with harsh winter weather conditions, the Pallas’s cats became well-acclimated to their new surroundings. Finally, they were able to thrive on their own!
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The team at the reserve could not be happier to see the manuls back in their natural habitat. It isn’t always easy to reintroduce animals to the wild, especially when they have been raised by humans, but these kitties seemed to beat the odds!
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Now that these kittens were all grown up and back in the wild, the researchers at the reserve had a unique opportunity to keep track of and learn everything they could from these mysterious cats as they went about their daily lives.
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While the researchers already knew that manuls are loners (with very expressive faces), they are looking forward to learning more. This way, cat lovers can preserve the species for years to come! Just ask Valentin Gruener, he’s famous for his love of wild cats.
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In February of 2012, a dying female lion cub was discovered on the outskirts of a farm in Botswana. She was starving and could barely move, so her rescuers knew they had to act quickly if they wanted to bring her back from the brink of death.
Her rescuers named the young cub Sirga, and they were hopeful that she would be able to hang on with their tender love and care. Sirga’s story was an unspeakable one. For a cub so young, she’d endured a tremendous amount already…
Sirga was one of three young cubs born to her Botswana-based pride. When the two other cubs passed away and Sirga’s own health began to fail, the pride decided to leave her to fend for herself. Without protection from her pride, Sirga’s fate seemed bleak…
  
Conservationist Valentin Gruener led the team that found Sirga. He spearheaded a campaign to bring the young cub back to his headquarters and treat her for malnutrition and exposure to the elements.
As the co-founder of the Modisa Wildlife Project in Kalahari, Botswana, Valentin felt it was his duty to help save the life of this desperate cub. Working with a local veterinarian, they decided Sirga—who weighed just four pounds—needed an IV drip to help rehydrate her.
Valentin and the veterinarian hoped that the IV treatment and a special diet of fresh eggs, cream, milk, vitamins, sunflower oil, and calcium would help with the hard work of nursing Sirga back to health. Still, they weren’t sure what the outcome would be.
To everyone’s surprise, Sirga didn’t just survive—the tiny cub began to grow and thrive! People at the headquarters couldn’t believe it. “To this day we believe she is probably the most spoiled and well-fed lion in Botswana,” Valentin said with a smile.
After about a year of special care, Sirga had put on 170 pounds! Valentin and his team decided it was time to take her off of her special diet and get her acclimated to the raw meat diet that she would enjoy if she were living in the wild…
Because she had been abandoned by her own pride, Sirga viewed Valentin and the others at headquarters as her real family. However, at three years old, Sirga was becoming large enough that Valentin and his staff couldn’t play with her the same way they did when she was younger and smaller…
Eventually Valentin became the only person who could manage Sirga’s playful spirit. It made sense: since he had rescued her from death and had been with her every step of the way, she considered him as her surrogate father.
She might have been bigger than Valentin, but that didn’t stop her from resting her head in his lap to fall asleep or flinging herself into his arms for a hug. She treated him with the same affection that human children give to their parents!
For Valentin, Sirga was like his daughter, and just like any other parent, he faced a lot of challenges when it came to dealing with his three-year-old—including some that would even make the parents of human toddlers quake in their boots!
Valentin and the other conservationists worked overtime to help put some of that toddler energy to good use by helping Sirga learn the skills that she would need in order to survive in the wild.
What started off as a way to help keep Sirga occupied throughout the day became a mission. Valentin knew that the right thing for Sirga was to help prepare her for her eventual return to the desert where she truly belonged.
One of the most important skills Sirga needed was how to hunt. Believe it or not, hunting isn’t a natural instinct in lions. It’s something they learn from older members of the pride, which meant that Valentin had to learn how to hunt, too!
It was slow going at first, but eventually Sirga began to pick up the vital skill. This was a tremendous relief to Valentin, who knew that once she returned to the wild, it would be “kill or be killed” for the lioness.
“We didn’t want Sirga to become like other lions in captivity, constantly fed by streams of tourists,” said Valentin. “She hunts her own food, taking antelopes, and she will let us be near her when she eats it, which is remarkable.”
For this reason, Valentin and his team worked hard to make sure that Sirga wasn’t too domesticated. “We want to release her eventually as a wild lion, not as one who has met lots of people. That would be dangerous. She only interacts with us,” said Valentin.
Filmmaker Jurgen Jozefowicz eventually heard about Valentin and Sirga’s story. He was so inspired that he started work on a six-part series about their bond called Lionheart. If all went according to plan, the movie would also feature Sirga’s release and the undoubtedly difficult goodbye from Valentin.
Sirga’s entire life with Valentin has been about preparing for her eventual return to the wild. However, that didn’t mean it would be easy for either her or Valentin to say goodbye to each other. The bond they shared was truly one-of-a-kind!


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