Wildcat kittens take first steps at Highland Wildlife Park

The Scottish wildcat is one of the rarest cat species in the world. Picture: PA
The Scottish wildcat is one of the rarest cat species in the world. Picture: PA
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Two litters of rare wildcat kittens have taken their first steps out in public at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig.

The quartet could play a crucial role in saving the iconic Scottish species from extinction.

One of the Scottish wildcat kittens born at the Highland Wildlife Park. Picture: PA

One of the Scottish wildcat kittens born at the Highland Wildlife Park. Picture: PA

The four “Highland tigers” spent the past couple of months in their dens but are gradually becoming more and more adventurous.

David Barclay, RZSS Cat Conservation Project Officer said: “The birth of these rare kittens is not just another boost for the captive breeding programme but for the conservation of this magnificent native species as a whole.

“Through our work with Scottish Wildcat Action, we are doing everything we can to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction and the safety net of the captive breeding programme is becoming more and more vital as wild populations continue to decline.

“We have recently developed an off-show breeding facility for the wildcats, one of the largest of its kind in the world for small cats.

“Through the conservation breeding and pre-release training programme we will eventually use captive born wildcats to carry out reintroductions across Scotland.”

One of the rarest cat species in the world, the Scottish wildcat features on a number of Highland clan crests.