Two tiny jungle cats rescued from Virar

The kittens are currently under observation at Thane SPCA

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Two tiny jungle cats rescued from Virar


An organisation working towards conserving urban wildlife rescued two kittens of the elusive jungle cat, an Asian wildcat species,  and tried reuniting them with their mother on Wednesday, when sheets of rain were pounding the megapolis, waterlogging its streets. After trying for over five hours, the team had to give up the wait for their mother and take them to the Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), where they are now being looked after.

The kittens were first spotted by Labhesh Vaidya, a Virar resident who found them abandoned near a crematorium on the rainy afternoon. Assuming that they were newborns of a domestic cat and wouldn’t be able to endure the weather or escape stray dogs, he brought them home.

“It was after taking a closer look at home while feeding them that Vaidya felt they were not like the usual stray cats, but a wild species he had spotted in the forest areas where he resided years back,” said Adwait Jadhav from Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), which rescued the cats. Vaidya then got in touch with Amit Pathak of Awaaz Voice of Strays, a welfare organisation for animals, which had put him in touch with RAWW.

A three-member rescue team from RAWW, comprising Jadhav, Pareen Shah and its founder Pawan Sharma, reached Virar and took the kittens to the site where  they were found.

“Normally cats search for their young ones. If they have left them at a particular apot, they go back to it. So we set up camera traps around the place as it was past midnight by that time. However, despite waiting for five hours, the mother did not turn up,” said Sharma.

At dawn, they decided to bring the pair to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivili as there was no arrangement to keep the kittens in Virar.

At SGNP, the team got the kittens medically examined, and they were taken to Thane SPCA for round-the-clock monitoring.

“These kittens are being fed a formula suggested by expert Dr Shomita Mukharjee, and are kept under observation of Dr Sanjay Jadhav from Thane SPCA,” said Sharma.

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