The Memphis Zoo is proud to announce the birth of two
fishing cat kittens. The kittens, both males, were born December 14, 2015 to
first-time parents “Jonas” and “Wasabi.”
The kittens are named “Bob Parker” and “Rodrick.” They are currently not on exhibit. Jonas, the mother, was born in 2012. The
father, Wasabi, was born in 2013 at the National Zoo.
“This birth is significant within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) as there are only 60 fishing cats in all North American zoos,” said Farshid
Mehrdadfar, Cat Country Curator.
About fishing cats
The name “fishing cat” is a descriptor. These cats actually fish for
their dinner, and love the water, unlike some of their cat relatives. In fact,
fishing cats love to spend time in water. Their tails act as small rudders to
help guide them through the water. They have been known to eat snakes, rodents,
waterfowl, wild pigs and young deer in the wild.
The Memphis Zoo first displayed fishing cats when Cat Country opened in
1993. They have been in our collection, off and on, since then. Fishing cats
are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s
(IUCN) Red List.
About the Memphis
The Memphis Zoo, located in Memphis, Tenn., is home to more than 3,500
animals representing over 500 different species. Recently named as one of the
top zoos in the country by TripAdvisor® and USA Today’s 10Best, the
Memphis Zoo has completed over $93 million in renovation and expansion since
the early 1990s. The Zoo's animal inhabitants reside in one-of-a-kind exhibitry,
such as Once Upon A Farm, Commercial Appeal Cat Country, Primate Canyon,
Animals of the Night, Northwest Passage, Teton Trek and CHINA - home to giant
pandas YaYa and Le Le. The Zoo was founded in 1906 and resides on 70 acres in
the middle of Overton Park. The Memphis Zoo is an accredited member of the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Memphis Zoo, YaYa and Le Le are trademarks
of the Memphis Zoo.