A two-month-old margay kitten has started to explore the outside world as they venture out of its nest for the first time.
Keepers at Shaldon Wildlife Trust welcomed the arrival of the animal on September 29 this year and are said to be ‘overjoyed’.
Now two-months-old, it has started to venture out of its nest box for the first time and is starting to find its feet.
These species are nocturnal and the keepers of the zoo have had to use camera traps to be able to monitor the growth and progress of the unnamed kitten.
The kitten was born to the zoos youngest pair of margay – Harley and Lucia.
Lucia came to Shaldon from Randers Zoo in Denmark in 2019 as part of the European breeding programme for the species, with Harley being born at the zoo in 2017.
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It was the pairs first kitten together and is a joyous occasion as it marks the continued success with margay at the zoo after their new enclosure won an award at a recent zoo industry awards ceremony.
Margay’s are small cats found in Central and South America and are now classed as a near threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list.
They face threats such as deforestation, fragmentation and the illegal pet and fur trade in the wild.
Zak Showell, director of Shaldon Zoo, said: “Given how difficult a year it’s been, having a margay born is a really positive feeling for all the team here”.
“This is the only margay to be born in England this year and one of only four in the whole breeding programme in 2020.
“Coupled with success of winning an award for their enclosure a few months ago just makes it even better.”
The Zoo is currently closed in line with government guidelines and is asking for the support of the public through donations to be able to care for the animals during this time.
You can contribute to their Go Fund Me page here.