Introducing the Philadelphia Zoo's Black-footed Cat KITTENS
By: Kelly Schwab
Congrats to the Philadelphia Zoo on the latest additions to their family! Aza, the zoo's black-footed cat, gave birth to Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion (YES, they were named after the Game of Thrones dragons) on April 8, 2014. The babies just made their debut a few weeks ago and are now frolicking in their new exhibit space. Aza was born in 2005 at the Central Florida Zoological Park and arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo in 2011 from the Kansas City Zoo.
A lot of work went into the preparation for these new additions including kitten-proofing the exhibit. The water level was lowered and climbing structures were added that would make it easier for the little ones to enter and exit the pool. The kennel where the kittens have become accustomed to sleeping was also placed inside the exhibit to give them some recognizable scents.
The black-footed cat is one of the smallest cats in the world — even smaller than the average domestic cat. Surprisingly un-cat-like, they are not the best climbers — but they are great diggers, which is beneficial for them as they search for insects. Additionally, they have been seen practicing several different hunting styles which has helped them to live on average for about 10 years. In the wild, these cats will eat whatever they are able to catch ranging from insects to adult hares.
Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion have all had problem-free checkups, received their vaccinations, and overall are in great health. As of June 10, their weight ranged from 22 oz. to almost 27 oz. The zoo has a keeper present throughout the day to ensure that the cats are adjusting to their new habitat.
Please join us in congratualting the Philadelphia Zoo on these adorable new kittens!
For even more cuteness,here are some of our favorite kittens from Too Cute!