Sweet 16: Siberian Zoo Celebrates Arrival of a Darling Litter of Wild Kittens

Earlier this month, Novosibirsk Zoo in Siberia announced on VK.com that three female Pallas’ Cats gave birth to a total of 16 adorable wild kittens with large and bright blue eyes, but the exact date of their births was not given. According to Tatyana Pevneva, the head of the International Cooperation Department at Novosibirsk Zoo, the first female gave birth on June 1, 2020, the second on June 7, and the third on June 11. The litter sizes varied, with one female having three kittens, another having five, and the third having eight. As Pallas’ Cats grow older, their bright blue eyes change color to green and then yellow. The zoo is closely monitoring the development of the kittens, but it is too early to determine their future fate.

At Novosibirsk Zoo, two adorable kittens are playfully frolicking in their enclosure. These cute felines belong to the Pallas’ Cat breed, which has been a part of the zoo since 1995. To aid in conservation efforts, these kittens are sent to various zoos around the world as a part of international and European programs. The descendants of these cats can now be found in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Great Britain.

Breeding Pallas’ Cats in captivity is challenging, and they have a high mortality rate, making their population vulnerable. In their natural habitat, these cats can be found in rocky deserts and semi-arid areas spanning from Central Asia to Mongolia. Unfortunately, they are at risk of extinction due to habitat degradation and being hunted for their fur.

Overall, these playful kittens bring joy and hope for the survival of their endangered species.

At the Novosibirsk Zoo, there are a mother Pallas’s Cat and two adorable kittens that have caught the attention of many visitors. These cats are a rare sight as there are only about 12,000 of them living in the wild in Russia, according to the WWF. In fact, there are only 30 Pallas’s Cats living in captivity in Russian zoos as of the end of 2019, as reported by Pevneva.

Although the kittens at the Novosibirsk Zoo are still hesitant around strangers, including visitors, they occasionally come out of their shelter for a brief moment before dashing back to safety. However, zoo employees have noticed that the kittens are becoming more confident over time, increasing the chances of visitors catching a glimpse of them. So if you’re lucky, you might just get to see these cute little felines during your visit!

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