About: breeding in captivity
Of course, breeding in captivity is controversial like many other topics in conservation, and lots of people have a say. Everybody is entitled to have their opinion and to share this, but we feel it must be a bit grounded on knowledge and experience too. We in Wild Cats World for sure aren’t a true breeding program but we honestly say that a few litters of some species, like leopards, cheetahs, black-footed cats and servals are welcome, and with reason. The cubs that have been born in our project so far (2 caracal and 2 leopardcubs) were very welcome like all other (planned) births in the future.
We mainly focus on keeping wild born cats in their natural habitat, and if occasionally in the future we will be able to complete our mission and release some of our youngsters in a reserve or any other wild environment, we would be happy and proud. Some people are very much against breeding in captivity, and we only tend to agree, if there’s irresponsible breeding and for the wrong reasons: for money and exploit with no clear plan for the future. In our project we welcome some cubs and kittens not just for educational reasons, but also not to derive our ambassadorcats from anything that would benefit their welfare and feeling of being able to live life to the fullest in a natural way.
We also feel the captive born ambassadors are the best ambassadors for their species. If they are born in captivity and treated the best way, like our ambassadors, they will always be happy cats, who never knew the wild situation and never had (or will have) the same struggle to survive like their wild relatives have. At the same time they are the best ambassadors, and people who get the chance to meet them do love them and their species, want to know more about them, without having to harass their wild relatives and interfere in their lives in the wild, unintentionally even putting them into danger. At the same time it gives us, and everyone who is interested, the best chance to observe and study the species and their behaviour and share the knowledge and exceptional facts with a large audience. In other words: responsible breeding doesn’t jeopardize the species, and remarks like “set them all free!” are just based on emotions and not on clear thinking or knowledge about the situation both in the wild and in captivity.
In conservation there’s many ways to try and achieve the best for the wild animals. Some think they can win the people’s minds by working with a pet toy and give lectures in zoos and on schools, others even think hunting does support to conservation, some say breeding in captivity is wrong and all animals should be released, then there’s some fighting the “pet industry” and others who are in favour of this “pet industry”…..worst of all: most orgs in conservation spent more time on slandering and having their opinion about other orgs.
Our honest opinion is that the wild cats are very much in danger, and if this situation is irreversable, we doubt it. We can only do so much as try to keep as much of the wild born cats in safe surroundings in their natural habitat, try not to have more natural habitat taken away from wildlife and that is as hard as it is. That awareness and education in every way is contributing to that, we cannot deny, and we feel in our way we do what’s best. We do have an occasional litter born in captivity and we hope this will give us more info to share, will reach more people with our message, and at the same time keep the cats (and not to forget ourselves) happy.
We are against: irresponsible breeding & hunting, exploit, conservation for money instead for the cause and the animals…..and we are against bad treatment and abuse in the wild and in captivity. We hope in our way we can make a great contribution to the wild species, and keep the captive species as happy and healthy as possible!