The Scottish wildcat is a sub-species of the wildcat found throughout Europe. Although the wildcat, in general, is not threatened, the Scottish wildcat is in danger of extinction and maybe down to the last 40 individuals.
It is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. For its weight and size this cat is one of the world’s most efficient predators. Fearless, brave, intelligent, resourceful and patient make a remarkable animal who has survived human persecution for 500 years. They are solitary, nocturnal and mostly active at dawn and dusk hunting for small to medium-sized mammals.
Latin name - Felis silvestris grampia
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Felidae
IUCN Status - Endangered in Scotland Habitat Forests, meadows, heath moors, highlands.
Distribution - Scottish Highlands
No-one has ever been able to tame a Scottish wildcat, not even when hand-reared from a kitten. They are a truly WILD cat. This species is nicknamed ‘The British Tiger’ and has a distinctive method of eating rabbit by turning the skin inside out as they eat the meat, leaving the skin still attached to the leg bones and feet.
At Battersea Park Children's Zoo we are home to two Scottish wildcats; Skye & Livvi. Recent studies have confirmed the huge decline in wild Scottish wildcats, making the captive breeding programme involving genetically important Scottish wildcats even more vital to saving this species.
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