Stop watching cat videos and head to the Greensboro Science Center! The Greensboro SciQuarium introduced a new resident today to join Tallulah the fishing cat. Mako, a 9-month-old male fishing cat, was brought to Fishing Cat Cove in the center today.
The fishing cat is slightly larger than the average house cat, weighing between 13 and 26 pounds. Their coats are covered in black spots, similar to a leopard, and they have a stocky, muscular build. Fishing cats get their name from their hunting practices of using their paws to scoop up fish. Fishing cats have even been known to dive into the water after their aquatic prey. Fishing Cat Cove at the SciQuarium includes a small stream with running water to encourage this natural fishing behavior.
Fishing cats, native to Southeast Asia, are classified as endangered with fewer than 10,000 felines left in the wild. Habitat loss is the biggest threat to fishing cats as wetlands, the preferred environment for the cat, have been drastically reduced in Asia over the last ten years.
Mako and Tallulah will be paired together in hopes that they will produce offspring. The Greensboro SciQuarium participates in Species Survival Plans as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
According to a press release, the center’s curator had been searching for a potential mate that would be suitable for Tullulah. Mako was recommended due to his age and genetic makeup, but “the cats are being introduced slowly.” Mako was introduced to the exhibit alone on this morning so that the cats will be able to been to recognize one another by smell.
There is a behind the scenes area of the exhibit where the cats will also be able to see each other from separate areas before making direct contact with one another. On Wednesday the cats will be introduced face-to-face for the first time, with the hopes that they will be comfortable enough with one another to be on exhibit together by the weekend.