Two critically endangered Asian leopard cats are being trained to behave more like wild cats after being rescued, China Daily reported.
The trainers at Yunnan Puer Taiyanghe Forest Zoo are teaching the cats how to find food and how to avoid predators.
Yang Zenan, a zoo trainer, gives them training two hours a day. The training includes teaching them how to find chickens hidden in the grass and branches, the report said.
The cats were rescued at Mengnong town of Mojiang county in the province two months ago.
While patrolling a wild forest, forest workers found them weak and alone and then sent them to the rescue center at the zoo.
“The two leopard cats have been here for more than one month. Now they’re growing well,” said Yang. “After training and exercises, the once timid cats can now climb trees and prey on living animals.”
When they gain enough survival ability, the cats will be sent back into the wild, Yang said.
According to Wild Cats Magazine, the Asian leopard cat is a small wild cat that’s as large as a domestic cat, and has the widest geographic distribution of all felines. It is found across China, Southeast Asia, Korea, India, Pakistan and the Russian Far East.
Its habitat is varied, and includes tropical forest, scrubland, pine forest, second-growth woodland, semi-desert and agricultural regions, especially near water sources, and may be found at heights up to 3000 meters.