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Hand-Raising a Pallas's Cat Kitten

A wildcat crept into an abandoned train carriage in Russia and gave birth to cubs. Workers moved the car to the Daursky Biosphere reserve, without knowing who lived inside. The mother Palllas's Cat abandoned the carriage during the move, but one cub was left behind. Several days later, reserve director Vadim Kirilyuk heard a kitten meowing, and saw her crawl out of the train car. The cub's mother was nowhere to be found. She was tiny and weak, and the scientists called wildlife experts for advice on feeding her. Kirilyuk named her Dasha.   

Scientists had to play the role of Dasha’s mother, massaging her stomach after each meal, and keeping a hand on the kitten’s back to help her fall asleep in a den made out of a cardboard and an old fur hat.

Their efforts paid off and Dasha grew into a curios and healthy kitten.

‘Her eye colour changed from blue to yellow just before she was two months old.

'In the middle of June she went outside for the first time, and immediately ran back inside, to her humans, because she got too scared’, said Vadim Kirilyuk, the reserve’s director.

The scientists hope to return Dasha to the wild someday, if she can be properly prepared for life on her own. Read more about Dasha at The Siberian Times, and see plenty of pictures. Follow Dasha's life at Kirilyuk's Facebook page. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Vadim Kirilyuk)


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Since the this species lives a solitary adult life, it will likely leave when it gets old enough. As long as they feed it live prey, it should do well.
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