Saving Wildcats, the partnership project working to restore the critically endangered wildcat in Scotland, welcomed a generous £9,000 donation from a local fundraiser who rescued a potential hybrid wildcat kitten.
Peter MacNab, who discovered the tiny kitten with his friend Piotr Peretko, north of Grantown in January, set up a community fundraising page to support the conservation project after the cat, which he named Huntleigh, sadly passed away.
David Barclay, Saving Wildcats ex-situ conservation manager, said, “We are really grateful for this amazing community support and Peter’s incredible fundraising efforts which will help secure a future for Scotland’s wildcats. Together we can restore this iconic species by bringing together national and international expertise to breed and release wildcats into the wild.
“Our Highland tigers are on the brink of extinction and interbreeding with domestic cats, known as hybridisation, is a major threat to their survival.”
“After genetic testing, we established Huntleigh had around 30% wildcat DNA. These results have been added to the national database, meaning this little kitten has helped supported wildcat conservation in Scotland.”
The Saving Wildcats partnership is led by RZSS in collaboration with NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland, The Cairngorms National Park Authority, Norden’s Ark and Junta de Andalucía.