Seoul Grand Park has donated two wildcats that successfully bred naturally in captivity last year to Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo, Japan. This would be the second donation of a pair of wildcats as a part of the Seoul–Tokyo friendship program in 2002. Wildcats are listed internationally as endangered species, and the two wildcats that were donated to Japan in 2002 were a founder pair that later established a captive population of wildcats in Japan.
Unlike how familiar their name sounds, wildcats are listed internationally as class 2 endangered species and as domestic endangered species. In Korea, the wild population of wildcats is rapidly decreasing due to road kills and the destruction of their habitats. In particular, due to their rapid decrease in numbers, wildcats are known to be found in the Tsushima region only. Seoul Grand Park currently has 15 wildcats, including ones born by natural breeding last year.
The park has been dedicating various efforts such as release attempts, protection of rescued wildcats, promotion of natural breeding, and more to preserve the endangered species of wildcats. This donation is also a part of an effort to preserve wildcats which is an internationally endangered species, and is expected to contribute to the captive wildcat population in Japan and civic education.
Meanwhile, Inokashira Park Zoo, where the pair of wildcats are headed, is a member of the Tokyo Zoological Park Society, where Tama Zoological Park and Ueno Zoo are also members, and has a long-standing relationship with Seoul Grand Park. In April, Seoul Grand Park donated its lioness Mio to Tama Zoological Park, and received news of Mio giving healthy birth in early October. Currently, Seoul Grand Park is dedicating its efforts to bring two donated cheetahs from Tama Zoological Park within this year.
|Wildcats at Seoul Grand Park|