A farmer in Russia one day found what he thought were domestic kittens in his barn. They were very young; their eyes were not yet open. He waited all day for their mother to return, but she never did.
That's when he decided to come to their aid. When he scooped them up and took them into his house, he found upon examination that they didn't look at all like any kittens he had ever seen before. That's when he called Daursky Nature Reserve.
When the Reserve agreed to take the kittens and raise them, that's when he found out that the kittens were actually a near-threatened species of cat called Pallas cats, otherwise known as Manuls.
The Reserve's two cats, dedicated mothers -in-spirit themselves, immediately began to cuddle them and give them rough-tongue baths. It was fortunate that they took them in so readily and helped raise them as they did their own kits.
The Pallas cat ranges over a wide area of the grasslands and montane steppes of Central Asia. Because their habitat in being encroached upon and their prey is being driven away by the activities of humans, the beautiful wild cat is being threatened with extinction.
They differ from domestic house cats in several ways. You can see in the picture above that they have round irises rather that elongated ones. Their small ears are set low on their heads, and their legs are short.
The beautiful Pallas cat has a wonderfully lush coat that is sought after and their inner parts are used in medicine in Russia and Mongolia, increasing the threat to their survival.
Some people have tried making pets of these cats, but they do not readily become domesticated. In captivity, however, they often live about eleven years. Scientists have begun meeting together to try and solve the plight of the Pallas cat. The first international meeting on the study and conservation of Pallas in the steppes of Northern Eurasia was held on September 13-15, 2016 in Novosibirsk, Russia. Hopefully, they will find means to protect this gorgeous animal and allow it to thrive in the wild.
The farmer sure was surprised when he found these rare kittens. What would you have done? Some people may have tried to raise them themselves. Do you think that is a good idea? Share this story with your friends and then have a discussion about how you can help prevent the extinction of the Pallas cat or other endangered species. Then let us know what you think in the comments!