This heartwarming tale, dating back to 2016, is simply too endearing not to share. In the streets of Thailand, a tiny, lone baby kitten was discovered by a family enjoying their evening. As they approached the little feline, it became evident that this was no ordinary cat, distinct from any other kittens they had seen. Concerned for the kitten’s welfare, the family promptly contacted The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), an animal organization, who promptly arrived to assess the situation.
Upon careful examination, the organization identified this unique creature as a fishing cat, a special feline species teetering on the brink of extinction.
Fishing cats, which can grow up to twice the size of a typical domestic cat, possess an ardent affinity for marine life, particularly fish. As the name suggests, these cats are renowned for their hunting and fish-eating prowess.
According to Wikipedia, “the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and declined severely over the last decade. Fishing cats live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps, and mangroves.”
The WFFT team was astounded to discover that the kitten had only recently left its mother’s womb before being found by the family—a highly unusual occurrence for this breed.
Fond of the rare feline, the family was granted permission to keep him temporarily and bestowed upon him the name “Simba.” It quickly became apparent that Simba had formed a strong bond with the family.
Though the family remained vigilant, hoping the mother would return for her offspring, that hope ultimately went unfulfilled. Simba was cared for by the family, nourished with milk, and blossomed into a stunning fishing cat.
Fortunately, Simba’s story takes a positive turn, as he continues to thrive. Yet, his well-being carries immense significance. As the WFFT emphasizes, “poaching and retribution killing were the major causes for a high Fishing Cat mortality of 84% in Thailand.” Thus, not only is Simba’s survival a miracle, but his existence is crucial for the preservation of his species.