One of the world's deadliest cats has appeared in a US zoo: what a tiny predator looks like, giving lions a run for their money
The Hogle Zoo in Utah has recently welcomed a new resident - a black-footed cat named Gaia. The fluffy beauty is only 8 months old, and she can charm anyone with her big eyes and sweet look. And this is fantastic, because in fact, this animal is one of the deadliest cats on the planet, capable of grabbing "more prey in one night than a leopard in six months".
Gaia is described as a "small in size but big in its daring nature" cat. Its features were described in the Huffpost article.
Gaia, who weighs less than three kilograms, comes from a family of successful hunters. The hunting success rate of black-footed cats is more than 60%. For comparison, this figure is 25% for lions.
"They have a reputation of being very fierce cats," said the zoo's deputy director for animal care.
This cat species has an accelerated metabolism, so they are constantly hunting because they are constantly hungry. In one night, such a cute and adorable looking cat can kill up to 14 rodents or small birds, hunting every 30 minutes. Weighing 1-3 kilograms and measuring 35-43 centimeters, this animal, which is half the size of an average domestic cat, can hunt prey larger than itself, such as a Cape hare.
All this makes the black-footed cat the second deadliest predator in the world after African wild dogs.
"She may look adorable, but looks can be deceiving... She has the biggest eyes you've ever seen," the zoo's staff commented on the arrival of the new resident.
It is worth noting that Gaia arrived at the Salt Lake City Zoo on the recommendation of the Black-footed Cat Consortium. This event was called "an important step in the conservation of her species," noting that there are only 29 black-footed cats in the consortium.
The zoo is also home to a male black-footed cat named Ryder. The two furry predators will be introduced when Gaia "reaches maturity".
As OBOZ.UA wrote earlier, a few days before the New Year, a baby elephant got lost in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in India. It got separated from the herd and walked about 4 kilometers on its own. The story ended happily: zookeepers found its mother, and the love of animals amazed the network. Read more in our story.