Scottish Wildcats

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I hope they're not eaten by giant mice.
'Mon the wee kittens...

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Min Bannister

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Wonderful. They are so rare now and hardly anyone seems to care as they are not as sexy as much more plentiful tigers and so on.

i saw a wildcat once, many years ago. It was a huge privilege.
 

escargot

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:agree:

LOOK at that little FACE! Those STRIPES!

They are certainly worth saving. I first read about them as a child in an encyclopaedia. The illustration showed a fierce-looking, snarling creature. I thought it must be about, oooh, puma-sized and given to carrying off lambs and small children. Wasn't disappointed to learn the truth much later though.

Thank you for posting this! I'm off to watch again, or 40 more times maybe.
 

Min Bannister

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I thought it must be about, oooh, puma-sized and given to carrying off lambs and small children. Wasn't disappointed to learn the truth much later though.
Though you will be pleased to hear that when I initially saw mine (before I realised what it was) I got quite a fright because of its SIZE. Not puma-sized no but it was a big cat and thick-set. I felt it would easily have me in a fight. It didn't notice me thankfully.
 

Comfortably Numb

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...I'm off to watch again, or 40 more times maybe.
'Scottish Wildcat Action said the footage appeared to show genuine wildcat kittens'..

Wee screenshot before the video starts (all copyright acknowledged and 'fair use' invoked)...

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catseye

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Awww...look at their little faces!

Slightly off topic, but my youngest daughter used to be terrified of foxes. We live very rurally, and she would regularly have the screaming ab dabs when out at night, insisting we had to get home or the 'foxes might get us.'

Turned out she'd been confusing foxes with wolves, and was slightly disappointed to meet a fox in real life and realise that it was only sllightly bigger than our cat.
 

plastic wiganer

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i can relate fully to the above statement (catseye) as when i was a kid, my dad would often take us (me and my sister) out looking for a fox that lived on some industrial wasteland not too far from home.
i always breathed a sigh of relief when it never showed - usually because "we were making too much noise"
As above i always imagined it to be Wolf like in size and was surprised years later when i actually saw one for real.
And those wild cats are beautiful
 

WanderingFox

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Heart-warming to see. A species that really deserves more interest and preservation efforts than it currently gets, and one high on my list of animals I really want to see in the wild.

As to foxes (you really expect me to resist the subject? :wink2:) I rather suspect the media's aggravating habit of demonising vulpes vulpes every chance it gets has a lot to do with their perception as being much larger and more dangerous than they actually are.
 

Kryptonite

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I've only seen a Scottish Wildcat in a zoo- they have an interesting look about them as, although they look pretty much like domestic cats (but with a tougher looking facial expression- these aren't nice, cuddly kitties, they look hard as nails), they are noticeably bigger, and from what I could tell that day at the zoo, a lot of people who saw it were quite surprised that it was bigger and brawnier than the cute pets they were used to seeing.

I think if you've seen one, it would be hard to mistake a domestic cat for one of them. Although they're an endangered species, I feel that they're sometimes forgotten about- it'd be nice to see the preservation efforts getting more publicity.
 

Comfortably Numb

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'Breed and release' plan to save rare Scottish wildcat

BBC Scotland News
20 August, 2020

Conservations warn the Scottish wildcat is on the brink of extinction in the wild Britain's "first large-scale" conservation breeding centre for rare Scottish wildcats is to be created in the Highlands.

The project could eventually see up to 20 captive-bred wildcats a year released into the Cairngorms, one of the last strongholds for the species.

Longer term, cats could be released at other Scottish locations.

The new centre is to be set up at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore.

[...]

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-53848768
 

GNC

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Should help to keep the booming deer population down, too, if this programme succeeds.
 

Sid

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Wonderful. They are so rare now and hardly anyone seems to care as they are not as sexy as much more plentiful tigers and so on.

i saw a wildcat once, many years ago. It was a huge privilege.
I also saw what I thought was a wild-cat only a few feet away from where I happened to have been pretty much hidden behind some gorse when I lived in Scotland, in a very out-of-the-way-place near the small village of Alyth. The reason I had climbed up the hill in the first place was that I wanted to find and check-out a single large stone-age stone at the time.
Upon my returning home, I paid a visit to the local library to check it out properly. I found out to my amazement that it wasn't a wild-cat at all! It was in fact a very growly Lynx, and a pretty big one at that, full of muscle walking back up a drystone hill burn gulley. And that certainly made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!
 

Min Bannister

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Maybe I'm thinking of the lynxes @Sid mentions?
Yes I think so. Wildcats are pretty fierce but I am not sure they could take down deer. Certainly not in any quantity. Rabbits and hares are more like it.
 

hunck

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I also saw what I thought was a wild-cat only a few feet away from where I happened to have been pretty much hidden behind some gorse when I lived in Scotland, in a very out-of-the-way-place near the small village of Alyth. The reason I had climbed up the hill in the first place was that I wanted to find and check-out a single large stone-age stone at the time.
Upon my returning home, I paid a visit to the local library to check it out properly. I found out to my amazement that it wasn't a wild-cat at all! It was in fact a very growly Lynx, and a pretty big one at that, full of muscle walking back up a drystone hill burn gulley. And that certainly made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

Really? I'm not saying I don't believe you, it's just that they been officially extinct in the UK for around 1300 years.

They're pretty distinctive - no tail, tufty ears..
 

Sid

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I'd like to see a rabbit take down a deer.

Gotcha now Dee
View attachment 29137
:agree:

LOOK at that little FACE! Those STRIPES!

They are certainly worth saving. I first read about them as a child in an encyclopaedia. The illustration showed a fierce-looking, snarling creature. I thought it must be about, oooh, puma-sized and given to carrying off lambs and small children. Wasn't disappointed to learn the truth much later though.

Thank you for posting this! I'm off to watch again, or 40 more times maybe.
I just had a flash-back to when I walked the West Highland Way (picked my own route, some of it following a part of Bonnie Prince Charlies passage). I came across quite a number of accumulated cache's of dried out starched white bones from Wild Cat kills in the narrow mountain passes, along with quite a number of Golden Eagle sightings overhead.
 
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Sid

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Really? I'm not saying I don't believe you, it's just that they been officially extinct in the UK for around 1300 years.

They're pretty distinctive - no tail, tufty ears..
Tufty ears very clearly seen - that was clearly one feature of it. I also have no Idea how it came to be there though it was a pretty remote area. One thing I do recall (as this occurrence did happen a good many years ago now), was that the legs did not seem to be quite as long and springy as the depicted views of the 'normal' Lynx's you see in Canada and the like, instead it had thicker and far stronger looking legs - and absence of a tail. It also looked like it was pretty old, and very grumpy according to the growl that it made a few times whilst it was walking with head bowed low back up the dry burn on the hillside. (I did find the long stone age non-standing stone that had probably been laid flat by the Farmer)
 
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hunck

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Scottish Wildcat kitten 'at death's door' in freezing snow rescued by walkers

A chef who rescued a kitten "at death's door" in the snow was shocked to find out the feline was actually a rare Scottish Wildcat.

Pete Macnab made the "once in a lifetime find" while out walking with his three-month-old son and pal Piotr Peretko on Wednesday when he made the "once in a lifetime find".

"It was in a really bad way - it was freezing, not really moving and at deaths door.

"My pal carried it all the way back and we took it to the vets.

"They were going to try and give it a lot of hot water and a glucose injection.

"Piotr phoned them back at around 6pm to say he'd come and take it home to look after it until the owners were found.

"They said no chance can we give it back, its actually a Scottish Wildcat.

The baby Wildcat has been named Huntleigh to mark where she was found and is now being cared for by a Scottish Wildcat charity, Scottish Wildcat Action.

The charity estimates there are only 100 - 300 pure wildcats remaining.
Pete Macnab holding the Scottish Wildcat
 

Lobeydosser

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I grew up with a 3/4 Scottish wildcat - my parents got him as a kitten from a farm owned by a friend of the family and he came home in a old Whisky box on the pillion of a Triumph motorbike.
The kitten's mother was the farms resident cat who they reckoned was herself half wildcat and barely domesticated and the father was thought to be a full wildcat.
"Whisky" as he was called certainly looked the part with tufted ears and very thick fur- he was also larger than any domestic cat I have ever known - he was the same size as my collie cross dog. (those two got on very well - but she was a rescue pup and I'm not sure she thought she was actually a dog).
He once chased the Co-op milk boy down the street and would dissapear for weeks at a time getting up to all sorts of scrapes no doubt.
This was back in the mid 60's so no one thought of neutering or anything, so he left a lot of desecendants in the area.
 

Comfortably Numb

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First wildcat arrives at 'breed and release' centre

BBC Scotland
16 March, 2021

_117591777_nell.jpg


The first of 16 Scottish wildcats has been introduced to a new "breed-and-release" wildcat centre created in the Highlands.

Conservationists have warned the species is on the brink of extinction in the wild in Scotland.

The plan is to release kittens born at the captive breeding centre at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, near Aviemore, at selected locations.

The first wildcat to arrive is a young female called Nell.

She was born on the Alladale Wilderness Reserve near Ardgay in Sutherland. Her kittens could be among the first to be released into the wild.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-56414261
 
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