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Rare Pallas cat is saved in village in TransBaikal

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12 October 2015


After being rescued at Sherlovaya Gora village, the cat was sent for rehabilitation to Daursky Nature Reserve. PIcture: Daursky Nature Reserve

They're native to this part of Siberia, but not often seen. Famous for their adorable, fluffy looks with rounded faces, they're genuine wildcats. This one was young, perhaps born this year, and for whatever reason seemed unable to fend for itself properly in the wild. 

After being rescued at Sherlovaya Gora village, the cat was sent for rehabilitation to Daursky Nature Reserve, which nudges the Russian border with Mongolia. 

Pallas cat rescued

Sherlovaya Gora village is in 490 kilometers to the south-east from Chita, region's capital. PIcture: The Siberian Times

Animal expert from the reserve, Vadim Kirilyuk, said: 'This is a young and very skinny cat. Most likely, it was born too late. Unfortunately, in nature later broods are doomed. Young males, when just learning to hunt, do not manage to gain the necessary weight. 

'The weight of this cat is just 1.910 kilos. The fact that the Pallas cat appeared in a human habitation only confirms that it did not know how to hunt effectively or there was not enough food in the wild. Pallas cats depend on rodents in the area.'

Pallas cat rescued

Pallas cat rescued

Pallas cat rescued

'This is a young and very skinny cat. Most likely, it was born too late.' PIctures: Daursky Nature Reserve, Zabaikalye TV

He explained: 'If they don't learn how to hunt effectively, many die in the winter.' Now it is being cared for, the cat began to gain weight. It catches passerine birds as well as mice and voles. 

Known also by the name manul, a name which has Mongolian origin, the wildcat appears bigger and heavier than it truly is: its hair keep it warm in cold climate but also gives the illusion of stocky frame and a larger size than it really has. They have longer and denser fur than any cat, and underneath are the same size as domestic cats. 

Vadim Kirilyuk has big experience in raising young Pallase cats. PIcture: Daursky Nature Reserve

Vadim Kirilyuk

Comments (13)

Thank god rescued. The little baby. At least safe. Hopefully safe Hus whole life with you.
Shelkey, Canada
04/12/2015 23:20
I am reading this. The paper gets some glory for that.
Thanks for saving this animal.
Most of the comments here are by women. I'll be darn!
Billy Ing, Ohio, USA
27/10/2015 23:47
Thanks to those doing the good work of caring for and preserving these rare animals. I was fascinated by the article. Thank you for your work of educating and sharing knowledge of Siberian culture and nature with the world.
Bekki Shining Bearheart, Ithaca, NY, US
27/10/2015 20:05
@Patricia Franson, Pallas' Cat is separate species of Felidae family, Otocolobus manul. It has nothing in common with domestic cats, and has many physical features which differ it from any other small Felids.
It is very rare because despite of vast range it has strong attachment to very special habitat which provides it proper prey, shelter and protection from other predators. Thus Pallas' Cats are not only have low density of population, but also need a very wide protected range for their proper conservation. Dogs and cats also threaten the species, as well as human activities: hunt, rodent control, land degradation.
Tatiana, St Petersburg, Russia
23/10/2015 02:27
you can send me that sweet baby cat.
glenda pilcher, rome georgia usa
20/10/2015 06:16
It's a beautiful creature...thank Spirit that there are compassionate & decent people
out there. Thank you to you all...much good karma your way. This cat deserves a second chance you gave it :b
MG, Australia
18/10/2015 05:57
Thank you for your concern and kindness . This cat deserves to be saved.
Carol, US
17/10/2015 21:32
Beautiful cat. I don't understand. Why is this cat "rare"? Why are they almost extinct? What is their origin? If they are the size of a domestic cat, does that mean it is because the wild has eaten them up slowly? Maybe it is the old story, man cannot keep their mitts off the beautiful wild life that Mother Earth presents it and the typical hunter comes into play. Thank you rescuers for giving this cat hope and a safe place to rest.
Patricia Franson, Calgary Alberta Canada
17/10/2015 04:51
Such a beautiful and precious cat - my favourite cat species. I'm just glad there are kind people in this world who wish to care for them. Oh, and I meant to green arrow two of the comments but hit red by mistake!
Isobel, Birmingham, United Kingdom
15/10/2015 01:22
Thank you for saving this rare cat. I really hope you will release her in a safe place :) :) :)
guri-kristine mundal, trondheim norway
14/10/2015 19:34
So wonderful to see any animal rescued and released.
Barbara, Mississippi
14/10/2015 19:12
I have a lovely Persian cat, which is said to be a "descendant" of the Pallas Cat. Thank you for rescuing that beautiful animal! I hope Pallas Cats keep running in the wild of Siberia forever and we get the privilege to see a picture of them now and then. That is a great pleasure already!
Alice, Barcelona, Spain
13/10/2015 23:46
I love this cat too. I saw him in "Parc des félins" this summer (in région Ile-de-France) He played a lot hole to hole. But I préfer see him in the wild, it is his Home ! Is this cat on the picture will can go to outside in the wild when he will be bigger? Thanks to the "rescuers".
Jocelyne, FRANCE
13/10/2015 01:00

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