In December 2021, I was involved in collaring fishing cats in the Sunsari district to understand their ecology in the human dominated landscape. The research included their movement patterns between fish farming communities along the Kosi River.
One day I received an image of two kittens from the Parsa National Park (PNP) Office, asking to verify their species. They were unmistakably P. viverrinus kittens, recognisable through their yellowish-grey fur and black lines and spots.
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Some farmers in the Bara district had taken them to their house from the sugarcane field where the kittens had been found. After a few days, the farmers handed them to the District Forest Office in Bara, which then transferred them to PNP.
From there, the kittens were taken to National Trust for Nature Conservation, Biodiversity Conservation Centre in Chitwan, but only one of them survived. The good news is that the other cat will soon be released into the wild.
This, however is proof of a chronic lack of awareness about small cat species and proper rescue centres that could provide optimum care and safely rehabilitate them in the wild.