Wild cat mothered by a domestic cat

Wild cat mothered by a domestic cat

by Michael
(London, UK)

African Wildcat Botswana - photo randomtruth (Flickr)

African Wildcat Botswana - photo randomtruth (Flickr)

I'd just like to chew over a story that has been around for about 10 years but the video only seems to have been made available recently.

The Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species is in part concerned with the storing of genetic material of wild species to preserve endangered species and to then recreate it in the future. I presume that this is a kind of doomsday scenario. When a species is extinct in the wild the frozen genetic material can be brought to life and the wild repopulated with the once extinct species.

On the path to that cutting edge science the team at Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species have placed an African wildcat embryo (created from frozen sperm and a frozen egg) into the womb of a domestic cat, a random bred cat as it happens. Her name is Cayenne and she was 6 years old at the time of the birth. She is an American short hair cat.

The surrogate mum gave birth to wildcat kitten, Jazz, and treats her as one of her own. The reason why the embryo was placed in a domestic cat was because it is a trial for the time when the species concerned is extinct. In which case there would be no wildcat in which to place the embryo.

Here is the video:

The wildcat kitten looks like an active grey tabby cat but is purebred wildcat. This process was a first with cats, apparently.

This sounds great and as I said cutting edge. But I get depressed reading about it and not excited as I should be.

We are planning for the time when the wildcats will be extinct. It is a process of failure not success.

I would like to see more effort at a very senior level to preserve what we have got in the wild now and not preserve frozen material for use in the future.

It could almost be argued that in preparing for possible extinction we are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. We are generating a mindset that allows us to let the wildcats gradually become extinct in the wild.

I genuinely feel that despite the highly committed work by many wonderful conservationists we are losing the battle of preserving wildcats in the wild because conservationists cannot beat big business. It is big business that is destroying wildcat habitat (and local business, in fact). And loss of habitat is the biggest threat in general to the wildcats.

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Wild cat mothered by a domestic cat

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Sep 10, 2010 Hi Rudolph
by: Michael

I would love to meet you because you are one of us - people who care about animals and the planet. Thanks for the comment. I hope you are well in Mumbai and my love to your gorgeous Persian cats.

Michael Avatar

Sep 09, 2010 Wild-life conservation of the future.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks Michael for this excellent educative video and essay on the future of "Wild-life Conservation". I myself personally feel that "Surrogate breeding" will be the only alternative of recreating wild-life once they become extinct, which is happening at a much rapid pace in the 21st centuru, mostly, due to "Habitat loss" as we humans encroah into forests, converting them into villages and later towns. " The "Bombay cat" was given the name associating it with the wild black panthers of India with Bombay, now Mumbai having a rare distinction of being the only city in the World to have a "National park" within its jurisdiction. Panthers still roam these forests in Mumbai but i wonder about their existence a decade from now with the rapid commercialisation of forest land around Mumbai city.Hope iam wrong and nature is preserved in its original form with "Modern science" avoiding the "Doomsday Scenario" of rehgenerating the orld with animal wild-life once extinct.

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