Saturday 27 January 2024

Denver Zoo's Geoffroy's cat was smuggled into the US via Denver International Airport (DIA)

Geoffroy's cat. Photo: "Cloudtail the Snow Leopard" - Flickr user. The photo was taken at  Zoo Karlsruhe.

This is an unusual or perhaps almost unique way for an American zoo to acquire a small wild cat species; a Geoffroy's cat, which is a small wild cat from South America, specifically Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

It was smuggled into the US via Denver International Airport (DIA) in 2022. They have appropriately named the female Dia.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Colorado Parks and Wildlife picked up the attempted crime and took the cat to their wildlife rehabilitation facility and from there she was homed at the zoo.

The investigation was taking too long. We don't know the outcome but she became a permanent resident at DIA where she is well cared for.

It makes me wonder what the smuggler had intended to do with the cat. Perhaps simply keep her as an exotic pet which would have been almost impossible to do successfully as wild cats do not make successful pets. Far from it although there are some people prepared to put up with the innate aggression due to the anxiety in being in a strange place and encountering humans which make them frightened.

It is a known fact that wildlife is almost always inherently scared of humans and for a good reason 😎.

RELATED: African wildlife more frightened of humans than big predators like lions.

I have some pages on the Geoffroy's Cat if this cat species interests you. The species is named after the French naturalist Geoffroy St. Hilaire.

RELATED: Geoffroy’s Cat Facts For Kids - nice and compact article on this cat species. Two minute read!

And click this link for more:

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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