Four months after being born at Chester Zoo, footage has finally been released of the newest Highland Tiger kitten. The female, who is currently nameless, is also known as a Scottish wildcat. It’s estimated that there are only 100 left in the wild. The Highland Tiger has now becomeÂ Britain’s rarest mammal to date.
The kitten was born this past August as part of a breeding program to prevent the species from going extinct. Its parents, Einich and Cromarty, have been fiercely protective.Â Highland Tigers used to be a common wildcat in Britain, but were hunted for pelts and killed to curb them from preying on game birds.
A Scottish wildcat kitten â the U.K.'s rarest animal â was captured on camera for the first time months after it was born. pic.twitter.com/VfPoY3bODn
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) December 8, 2018
Wildcats are now protected by UK laws as they are the only remaining wild feline species. They are still threatened by habitat loss, cross-breeding with domestic cats, and disease. Hopefully, the breeding program will help to reintroduce Highland Tigers into the wild in the future.
The kitten fiercely resembles a domestic cat species, making them harder to identify and protect, though. Hopefully, this bundle of joy is just the first of many to help rejuvenate the population.