Asia's Smallest Wildcat Kitten Found In Field Is So Cute We Might Die
A rare two-week-old Rusty-spotted kitten was found alone in a field by farmers in India and an effort was launched to reunite the kitten with its mother.
Wildlife SOS, a non-profit conservation charity, was called to give the cat a medical examination as well as ensure that its mother was found.
SOS officers decided that baiting the mother with the kitten was the best way to reunite the pair and placed the young cat in a box near the field that was then monitored from a distance.
Doctor Ajay Deshmukh, the lead veterinarian from SOS, said that the mother was "initially scared of approaching the safe box" but came to retrieve the kitten following an overnight operation.
"Rescues like this hold a very special place in our hearts as it is immensely rewarding for us to know that this cub will now continue to be raised in the wild," Deshmukh said.
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Rusty-spotted cats are the smallest wildcat in Asia and grow to a weight of 1.6 kilograms (domestic cats weigh approximately four kilograms on average).
Newborn Rusty-spotted kittens weigh less than a chicken's egg.
The tiny cats feed on small mammals and insects but they have been known to take domestic chickens, which causes aggression towards them from rural populations.
The Rusty-spotted cat is only found in India and Sri Lanka and they are considered near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Their population is threatened by domestic dogs, farmers who mistake them for leopard kittens, and habitat destruction as a result of agricultural expansion.