A 7-week-old leopard cat cub growls at Debrecen Zoo. Picture: Reuters
A 7-week-old leopard cat cub growls at Debrecen Zoo. Picture: Reuters

WATCH: Say hello to Debrecen Zoo's latest arrival

By Reuters Time of article published Apr 20, 2020

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Debrecen, Hungary - A seven-week-old

leopard cat born in a Hungarian zoo was allowed out for the

first time on Friday to enjoy the spring sunshine but he will

have to wait a while before he can meet visitors due to the

coronavirus pandemic.

The leopard cat is a small wild cat which owes its name to

the spotted coat it shares with its much bigger cousin. Found in

southeast Asia, Nepal and China, it feeds mostly on small

rodents and is roughly the size of the domestic cat.

The Debrecen Zoo in eastern Hungary joined a leopard cat

breeding programme in 2017 which aims to raise the number of

leopard cats in European zoos from 15 to 50.

The zoo, which has 150 000 visitors per year, had to close

on March 17 as Hungary imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain

the spread of the novel coronavirus. It is now selling tickets

online in advance, valid for a year, to survive the crisis.

The revenues will help feed the animals as the zoo now has

enough feed for only two months.

The tiny leopard cat does not have a name yet and the zoo

has asked visitors online to suggest names.

Debrecen Zoo director Sandor Gergely Nagy said some of the

animals may be missing their visitors as much as the public

misses seeing them.

"I think not only us but also the animals feel that our life

has changed," he said. "There are species, especially mammals

such as monkeys, which show they are missing the visitors...

They need more care and attention from their carers now."

Reuters

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