Archive for April, 2017

Manul or Pallas’s cat

April 6th, 2017 No comments

One of the least known cats in the world, existing on the very edges of the earth, are the manul. They can be found on the steppes of China and Russia and make their homes in Tibet at altitudes above 16,000 feet. While they look much bigger than our domestic cats due to their wonderful winter coats, they weigh about the same.
A fun fact about the manul is that their pupils are round like humans, not a slit like other cat species. Since they have evolved in such remote areas, they have low resistance to diseases that other cats carry, so they are very difficult to raise in captivity. A few zoos have had success with them, which is good news for this feline, which is considered “near threatened.” Not surprisingly, their biggest threat are humans, who poison their prey and push them further and further to the edges of habitable land, which is pretty rough territory. I had the good fortune to meet a manul cat in a sanctuary in Calfornia. Unlike a lot of the cats there, she didn’t want to have anything to do with the noisy humans. This painting is for sale for $250.00. All proceeds from a sale will go towards research and conservation of these and other small cat species.
PS; even though the cats are named Pallas’s cat, Peter Simon Pallas never saw a live one. He just collected a carcass and named it after himself, along with several birds, bats and lizards.

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