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Asiatic golden cat

Asiatic golden cat
baboon, 9 Aug 2016
Jonas, amur leopard and Goura like this.
    • Nikola Chavkosk
      Majestic cat, unfortunately not doing well in captivity; possible reasons must be researched, they may include low-taurine diet, feeding a lot of red meat (high on cholesterole and pyrines/pyrimidines) from big animals, stress due to proximity to other animals/relatively small enclosures without a lot of vegetation, ?? what else can be proposed?

      What is the status in China, are there a lot of Asiatic golden cats in zoos?
    • baboon
      I think the small enclosure is a problem, as the golden cats have disproportionally large home-ranges in the wild, and the proximity of other cats and the disturbance of visitors may make them nervous and aggressive towards con-species. I don't know whether the diet also play a role, maybe they should be feed more rabbits and mouse?
      The status of golden cats in Chinese zoos is very terrible. The Shanghai Zoo and Ningbo Zoo used to have breeding populations, but their golden cats die out now due to plague and other problems. Until last month there were still six golden cats in Chinese zoos, but the one in Guangzhou Zoo died less than one month ago, and the pair in Chengdu Zoo was off-exhibit due to their old age, while their lush exhibit (the only good golden cat exhibit in China) was given to servals. Now there are only three golden cats on exhibit in China, one in Hangzhou Zoo, one in Chongqing Zoo and one in Zigong Zoo, all the three live in poor exhibit. This Hangzhou one's condition is not too good as it is old, and only the Zigong one may be still young.
    • baboon
      Thanks, Arizona Docent, it is my favorite cat species :)
    • Nikola Chavkosk
      Thank you baboon for generous reply. We would be very interested if there are some updates on Chinese zoos, their development, species held and their demography. Like I am asking myself how many Western lowland gorillas are in China? How many orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Indochinese tigers? Clouded leopards? African elephants, giraffes? Snoebills? Rhinoceroses? etc.

      The smaller cats definitively needs diet almost exclusively from smaller animals (rabbits, mice, chickens, fish, etc.), high on proteins/low on cholesterol, also with internal organs like liver (rich on taurine). I don't know if they are feed with a lot of beef/horse ground meat in zoos holding/holded them, but I think it should be avoided giving them meat from large animals that otherwise can't be a food for them in the wild. Also synthetic taurine supplement added to the diet may not be very bioavailable.
    • baboon
      Thank you, Nikola! The zoo seems to feed the golden cat with beef, and the cat is really fat indeed. Thus the diet may be a problem.
      For the other species you mentioned, in China there may be only 9 gorillas in four zoos (Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Jinan and Taipei), four clouded leopards in three zoos (Chongqing, Huangshan and Taipei), no shoebill, no Sumatran tiger. The orangutan and African elephant are not uncommon in Chinese zoos, but I don't know the exact numbers. Beijing Zoo used to have Indochinese tigers from Cambodia, but now there are not Indochinese tigers in Chinese zoos, however, some so-called south China tigers are identified as Indochinese tigers by molecular method. There are only two zoos have Indian rhinoceros (Beijing and Chimelong), only one zoo have black rhinoceros (Chimelong), but the white rhinoceros are common in Chinese zoos.
    • Arizona Docent
      Do any of the remaining golden cats have a spotted coat (what is called the ocelot morph)? I believe this form is found in China and it is a beautiful cat.
    • TeaLovingDave
      Considering how large the Asian Golden Cat actually *is* I suspect you underestimate the size of their natural prey species - they have been known to kill and eat juvenile water buffalo, various species of goat-antelope and deer in the wild.

      As I understand it, the main reason this species fares more poorly in captivity than other cat species is the fact that - very much like clouded leopard - there is a high risk of females being fatally attacked by males during the mating process; as such, finding a viable pair to breed the species in captivity is a slow and careful process - one reason why IVF has been resorted to on several occasions.
    • baboon
      Sorry there are no ocelot-morph golden cats in captivity now, both ones in Beijing Zoo and Lanzhou Zoo died. However the ocelot-morph are quite common among the golden cat populations in central-west China. In fact, almost all the golden cats captured by camera-traps recently in Gansu, SE Qinghai and northern Sichuan belong to this morph.
    • baboon
      Yes the problem of golden cats is very similar to clouded leopards. However the situation of golden cats is far more serious, as the AI technology used for clouded leopards is proved ineffective for golden cats, until the Allwetter Zoo figured out a new AI methodology. But since then I couldn't find any new information about the applications of this methodology on other zoos' golden cats.
      BTW, I believe the golden cats' main prey include species as large as the muntjacs and red pandas and juvenial sambars, but the buffalo calves may only fall as their prey in rare occations :D
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    Hangzhou Zoo
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    9 Aug 2016
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