National Zoo’s Twin Fishing Cats are Healthy and Thriving
Photo credit: Courtney Janney, Smithsonian's National Zoo
At 6 weeks old, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s two fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) kittens, a male and female, received a clean bill of health from Zoo veterinarians June 29. The veterinary team performed a complete physical exam, which includes: listening to the kittens’ heart and lungs; checking their mouth, eyes, legs, feet and genital area; and feeling their bellies. The kittens also received the first of a series of vaccines that protect against feline distemper and some upper respiratory viruses.
The kittens’ birth marked an important milestone: this is the first time fishing cats have successfully bred and produced young at the National Zoo. Keepers are monitoring mother Electra and her offspring through a closed-circuit camera, allowing the family time to bond. The kittens are very active and spend much of their time playing and watching Electra fish in their enclosure. Although the family will not make its public debut until later this summer, Zoo visitors can see their father, Lek, on Asia Trail.
To follow the kittens’ development, read Great Cat Communiqué and check for news on the Zoo’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.