Rescued leopard kitten ‘Simba’ preparing to return to the wild
Photos of a leopard cat-kitten at the Krabokkoo Wildlife Rescue Centre in Chachoengsao province are melting the hearts of netizens across Thailand.
Posted on Facebook by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on Saturday, the photos show the young feline being prepared for its reintroduction to the wild.
The kitten was rescued by officials from the centre after being found in a forest in Tha Takiap district with its parents nowhere in sight.
Leopard cats are often poached and sold into the illegal wildlife trade. The species is protected under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act (1992).
The kitten is undergoing rehabilitation and has been named “Simba” by officials at the rescue centre. Simba is living in a large nursery enclosure with a simulated forest environment to help acclimatise him to living in the wild before he is released.
The department has urged villagers and farmers living near forest areas to keep an eye out for young wild animals who leave the woods to find food but are unable to get back on their own due to injury or separation from parents. Sightings can be reported to the wild animal rescue hotline at 1362.