Bern: Three wild cats released into the wild

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Three females, saved in extremis in 2021, were able to find freedom in the Bernese Seeland. They will be tracked using a GPS collar.

Animals are going to live their wild life.

DR

Three apparently motherless kittens were dropped off last summer at two doctor’s offices and an animal shelter. But their behavior challenged the specialists, because they did not act like domestic twinks. They were brought to the wildlife center in Utzenstorf (BE) to live there for a while and gain weight and strength.

Very quickly the question arose. Was it feral cats or domestic cats gone feral? Further analysis along with hair swabs and a genetic test revealed that they were undoubtedly feral cats better known by the Latin name “Felis silvestris”. Now the trio were able to return to their home region in Bernese Seeland in early May. The KORA Foundation fitted two of the three animals with collared GPS transmitters so that they could track the success of their reintroduction.

The wild cat is a native inhabitant. It prefers areas rich in canopy such as mixed deciduous forests and alluvial forests, but it is also found in well-structured open spaces. The wild cat is protected in Switzerland. For a time it was thought to be extinct, but since the 1980s populations have been slowly recovering. Currently, wildcats are mainly found in the Jura, but they are spreading more and more towards the Plateau, as the discovery of young wildcats in Seeland again proves. He was named animal of the year in 2020.

(comm/jbm)

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