2 endangered Asian leopard cats abandoned at Bukit Batok HDB block rescued by Acres

SINGAPORE - Two Asian leopard cats were rescued by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) after being abandoned at a Housing Board block in Bukit Batok.

Acres deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal told The Straits Times on Saturday (Jan 12) that it had received a call on Dec 20 at around 10am.

A member of the public said they found the cats in a carrier at a HDB block near Bukit Batok West Avenue 6.

"They appeared normal externally but were very stressed from the rescue, transfer and new environment," Ms Anbarasi added.

Acres has since referred the case to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

In a Facebook post on Friday, Acres said that investigations were being conducted and added that the cats are currently under the care of the Singapore Zoo.

Asian leopard cats are shy, small nocturnal predators native to Singapore. Their diet consists of rodents, amphibians and reptiles.

ST reported in February 2016 that leopard cats are the last remaining wild cat species here, but are critically endangered due to the loss of their natural forest habitat.

One researcher estimated no more than 20 leopard cats living on the mainland at the time.

Leopard cats are also common victims of the illegal wildlife trade. They are hunted for the pet trade, for their bones, which are used in some Asian traditional medicines, and for their fur.

Acres said in its Facebook post: "Please leave wild animals in the wild. If you think the wild animal is in distress, please call our 24-hour wildlife rescue hotline 9783-7782 for assistance."

Members of the public with information on the ownership or sale of such animals should contact the AVA or Acres at acrescrime@gmail.com

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.