Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Black-Footed Baby

The little baby kitty is sleeping
The Hogle Zoo, outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the few facilities participating in the "Species Survival Plan", a cooperative breeding program among designated zoos to help save endangered, or nearly endangered species, such as the Black-footed cat pictured here.

My friend Meldee and her husband Don love the zoo and the cats there.  They took these photos some time ago when there was a new little Black-footed cat there.

Isn't this one a sweetie pie?
Sometimes I feel like somebody's watching me!
Black-footed cats are named for the black soles of their feet, and not the color of their paws.  They are indigenous to far-away places like South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and can also occasionally be found in Zimbabwe and Angola.

They are one of the smallest wild cats in the world.  And, weighing in at somewhere between 2 and 5 pounds, they are adorable.

Hey!  You with the camera, I'm sleeping here!
These cats are nocturnal and eat a lot.  They can consume a third of their body weight every night and rarely sleep more than 14 hours a day.  (I knew a guy like that once...)

These guys may be small, but they are aggressive and successful hunters!  They will eat a variety of small mammals, birds, insects and reptiles.

I was sleeping here!  Go away!
These babies roar!  They are very vocal and emit a loud and deep, throaty, "RRAAOUUH" when they feel it necessary.  Looks like the little fellow above already has learned the roar!

Baby be all grown up and looks more like this now:

Photo:  Hogle Zoo
Aren't they beautiful?  I love kitties.  I somehow don't think this one would sit on my lap.

Folklore says these tiny black-footed cats can bring down a giraffe by leaping on its neck.  It remains to be seen, but I'm betting we shouldn't discount it.  These little guys look pretty tough!

Photo: Hogle Zoo

I'm grateful to zoos such as the Hogle, who participate in programs such as the SSP (Species Survival Plan) to help these various species survive.

Back off!  We are still FEROCIOUS!
Photos: M R Love

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