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Black- footed Cat Kittens make their debut in Philly Zoo!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

/ by Sajjad Sarwar
Philadelphia Zoo's female Black-footed Cat Aza gave birth to a litter of kittens on April 8, 2014: the first Black-footed Cats ever to be born at the Philadelphia Zoo! Two of them were male and they named Drogon and Rhaegal and their baby sister was named Rhaegal. After they were born the three kittens should be receiving check-ups as it is the usual procedure for every newborn species at the zoo. In addition to weighing and sexing them, veterinarians completed full physical examinations of each kitten. They also gave the kittens dye marks so the keepers can tell them apart from a distance.
The black-footed cat is perhaps the smallest species of wild cat with origins in Africa. Black-footed cats average only 2.4 lb. to 4.2 lb. when fully grown. As with many other animals the females are usually smaller than the males. Their coat is tan to reddish brown, strikingly covered with dark spots, and the legs have wide dark stripes. As the name suggests, the bottom of the feet are entirely black. The medium length tail is ringed with black stripes and ends with a black tip.
The Philadelphia Zoo released these amazing photos showing the steps followed before the kittens' debut. As you can see they were cooperative and amazingly cute not to mention extremely photogenic!
The Zookeepers had already made the appropriate changes so as the three kittens be comfortable and safe in their new home and close to their mother. I really loved their fantastic big eyes!

Sources: Mymodernmet, Philadelphia Zoo's website

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