Protecting the Endangered Fishing Cat

Three Asian fishing cats were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio recently. That is nice to see. They claim that this is "part of a program aimed at protecting endangered species". But is it? How will this help?

These births help the survival of the fishing cat in captivity but not in the wild as I understand it.

Wildcats don't do well in zoos, partly because there are not enough of them so they are inbred. This makes them endangered in zoos. It is difficult to maintain a population of wildcats in zoos. Bizarre though that might sound.

We seem to be simply extending the endangerment from the wild to the captive.

I don't think the zoo is rewilding these cats, meaning put them back into the wild and I don't think that that is part of the program either.

So, what is the program? It seems to me that the only advantage is to boost the population of fishing cats in captivity for commercial reasons (more visitors).

How inbred are these cats? If they are males, are they fertile? Inbreeding is detrimental to sperm quality.

If someone can leave an enlightening comment it would help. No one will, however!

Michael Avatar

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