Animals & Attractions

There are lots of wildcats living here at Highland Wildlife Park! While you can spot some of them in our Woodland Walk, many others are being cared for away from public view in the Saving Wildcats conservation breeding for release centre, as part of a European partnership project our charity is leading to save the species from the brink of extinction in Britain.

Fun wildcat facts!

  • Scotland's wildcats are a unique and highly threatened sub-population of the European wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris
  • Although they may look similar to domestic (pet) cats, they do have some unique features, including their blunt and bushy tails and their genetic make-up! It can be very difficult to tell the difference between a wildcat, a domestic tabby, or a hybrid from looks alone
  • Thanks to their un-broken striped coats, wildcats have earned the nickname 'Highland tigers'
  • As meat-eaters, they spend long hours sleeping and digesting their food during the day, and are most active around dawn and dusk

How we're helping

Sadly, Scotland’s wildcats are on the brink of extinction after hundreds of years of persecution and habitat loss, followed by breeding with domestic cats (known as hybridisation). Now critically endangered in Britain, there are barely a handful left and scientific research has confirmed the species will not survive without help.

The last hope for our beautiful Highland tigers is the Saving Wildcats partnership project which RZSS is leading in collaboration with NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Nordens Ark and Junta de Andalucía.

Based here at the park and building on the work of Scottish Wildcat Action (2015-2020), the project brings together national and international expertise to prevent the extinction of wildcats in Britain by breeding and releasing them into the wild.

 

Find out more about the project and how you can help today.

 

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