Wildcat captured on the prowl by camera
excitement at highland wildlife park
THERE has been much excitement at the Highland Wildlife Park in Aviemore after staff captured on film a wildcat roaming at night.
Wildcats are an endangered species with only 400 thought to exist in the wild throughout Scotland.
In the first week in January eight movement-activated cameras were installed throughout the park, and what appears to be a wildcat was recorded on the infra-red camera just after midnight in mid-January.
Animal control officer at the park, Doug Richardson, said the keepers were really excited with the find.
He said: “The keeper was going through the images, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, wildcat, rabbit – and had to go back to make sure he saw what he thought he did. He was so excited he nearly fell off his chair.
“The wildcat just strolled in front of the camera.”
There are three single females and a pair as well as two kittens in captivity at the park and they will be keeping an eye open around their enclosures as mating season approaches to see if any wild ones come into the area.
Apart from rabbits, the cameras have also recorded hares fighting, a fox, roe deer and a white domestic cat.
The £3,000 cost of the cameras was funded by the keepers collecting money for wildcat conservation.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org