What is an African wild cat?

 

This question came up on the safari the moment we saw the small cat moving over an open plain.  A wildcat looks a lot like domestic cat in sizeand also sometimes in color. This unfortunately is actually one of the reasons why this species is very endangered. Being so closely related to our domestic pets, they can interbreed fairly easily, and this off course means that their gene pool deteriorates at a very fast rate.

 

 Most settlements and rural towns close to conservation areas have their domestic animals, and often these animals get abandoned by their owners for whatever reason. This is where the problem starts, cats will within weeks go completely wild because of their natural hunting and survival instinct. They can then move into the surrounding conservation areaand breed with the true wild cats, endangering the wild species by weakening their bloodline.

 

Due to this, unfortunately not even the ones we see out on Game Drive might be pure bred anymore, or even related to the African Wild Cat species for that matter.

 

So without realizing it, we can cause an entire species to go extinct if we do not control the domestic species in and around our homes.

 

 Armand Steyn

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