We all know the feeling you get when you see an animal in need. It is hard, because our emotions tell us to help, but we may not always be able to do so. Rescuing an animal in need can be expensive, time consuming and in some cases dangerous.
But one Israeli man jumped to save a litter of kittens. What happened next was truly surprising.
While on his way to work one day, 18 year old Hamdan Shibli found three kittens on the side of a dirt road. He spent some time trying to find a mother, but to no avail, and then tried to relocate the kittens to a safer area in some brush nearby.
He took a few pictures of the kittens and when he got home he posted them online. He was very quickly informed that they weren’t ordinary stray cats, but a species of wild cat native to Asia.
He immediately went back to where he left the kittens and checked up on them. The mother hadn’t returned so Shibli decided to take it upon himself to care for the animals.
Malnourished and covered in fleas, he gathered them up in a blanket and returned home. One of the trio didn’t survive the trip, leaving only two kittens to care for.
Shibli took them to a veterinarian that specializes in treating wild animals to receive medical treatment and provide them with an appropriate setting for recovery. It is unknown how long the kittens were without care, but it was long enough for them to suffer from severe neglect.
Workers at the veterinary clinic, fed them with formula and a regimen of vitamins and other nutritional supplements. The kittens responded well to the treatments and it was decided that they would be nursed until they would be strong enough to be released back into the wild.
Before long, they were eating solid food and gaining weight and size. Their handlers were able to step back and let the kitten’s instincts take over. Soon, they were engaging in the kind of play that would allow them to have a life of freedom in the wild.
While the Asian Jungle cat, known as the Reed or Swamp cat, is not a protected species and its range extends from China to the middle east, it is believed that there are only about six hundred in Israel, making the reintroduction of these kittens to the wild a primary objective.
These cats can grow up to fourteen inches at the shoulder and up to thirty five pounds. They are predatory wild animals and would not make good pets. They are also solitary animals except during mating season, so it is highly likely that once these kittens reach maturity and are released into the wild, they will separate for life.