The Binghamton Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of two young fishing cats, a species native to Asia, named Hunter and Malikai.
Hunter and Malikai came to the Binghamton Zoo to fulfill a breeding recommendation coordinated by the fishing cat Species Survival Plan. The two were paired to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population.
The male cat, Hunter, was born on April 15, 2014 at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. The female, Malikai, was born on September 21, 2014 at the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in Rosamond, California.
Native to southern Asia, fishing cats inhabit wetlands within India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Pakistan. Like the name suggests, fishing cats find food by diving into the water or grabbing them from shallows. Fishing cats predominantly eat fish, but are also known to eat frogs, crustaceans, snakes, birds, and small mammals.
The fishing cat is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Threats to this species include wetlands and habitat destruction as well as poaching and non-sustainable fishing practices.
Hunter and Malikai will be on exhibit, in our lower zoo, starting this weekend! The Binghamton Zoo is open on weekends only leading up to our Grand Opening on April 23, 2016.