Four months after being born at Chester Zoo, footage has finally been released of a Highland Tiger kitten. The female, who remains unnamed, is also known as a Scottish wildcat. With only 100 estimated left in the wild, the Highland Tiger has becomeÂ Britain’s rarest mammal.
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 because 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.