A six-month-old leopard cat was rescued from a street in Pambar area of Kodaikanal on Wednesday night. A leopard cat is a small wild cat and has leopard-like small spots. The cat, which was initially thought to be a leopard cub by the locals, created a flutter in the area. Based on the information from the locals, forest officials reached the spot and rescued it.
The cat was fed and kept safe in the night. It was released in the nearby Berijam forest area on Thursday morning.
D Venkatesh, forest officer, Kodaikanal, said the leopard cat had a wound on an ear. It was treated by a veterinarian and released in the forest in the morning.
There are several differences between a leopard and a leopard cat. A leopard cat has the same characteristics of a domestic cat. However, it is more slender and has longer legs than a domestic cat. It would be litte bigger than a domestic cat.
Unlike the leopard and tiger, which also belong to the cat family, the leopard cat is lesser carnivores. It mostly feeds on rat and small insects found in the jungle.
“Generally, the leopard cats will not be enumerated during the surveys. The cats are not easy to be spotted. Rarely, we encounter the cats during the forest visits. It is considered an endangered species and listed under the schedule one of the endangered species list,” said the forest officer.
The cat should have been separated from its mother. Generally, these cats will be separated in one year, when they are fully fit for hunting. However, they can survive on their own even from six months onwards, as they can feed on small insects.