Part of the family: Three generations of fishing cats at Oklahoma City Zoo

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Visitors to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden will now be able to see three generations of the same family.

Recently, the zoo welcomed two fishing cats from Brookfield Zoo in Chicago as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Fishing Cat Species Survival Plan.

The breeding pair, 11-year-old Chet and 10-year-old Anna are the biological parents of 6-year-old Boon. They are also the grandparents of 2-year-old Puddles.

OKC Zoo new fishing cat Chet credit Sabrina Heise
OKC Zoo new fishing cat Chet credit Sabrina Heise

 “Chet and Anna’s arrival brings the Zoo’s fishing cat family to a total of five animals. This is especially exciting as there are only 27 fishing cats in the AZA animal population,” said OKC Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores, Tyler Boyd. “By welcoming this new breeding pair, we have the opportunity to strengthen our commitment to the conservation of this unique and vulnerable species.”

OKC Zoo's new fishing cat Anna credit Chicago Zoological Society
OKC Zoo’s new fishing cat Anna credit Chicago Zoological Society

Although the pair has bred together previously, fishing cats are solitary by nature and only come together for breeding purposes. Dependent on their comfortability levels and outside temperatures, Chet and Anna will begin rotating time individually on habitat with fishing cats Miri, 13, and Boon, by late November.

Two-year-old, Puddles, can be visible to Zoo guests in his habitat, located inside the Small Cat building in Cat Forest.

Native to South and Southeast Asia, fishing cats are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation Nature. The greatest threat to declining fishing cat populations is wetland destruction, caused by pollution, encroachment, draining for agriculture, and excessive hunting and fishing.

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