This Rescued Kitten Isn’t Just Any Cat—It’s a Wild Leopard Cat

A man found a kitten alone and took it home in the hillside farmland in southwest China’s Yunnan province. Three days later, he noticed it wasn’t an ordinary cat and took it to the police.

It’s a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), a protected animal in China. Leopard cats are nocturnal hunters the size of large housecats. The rescue, though well intentioned, is not what’s best for the cat. The mother was probably in the vicinity hunting and would have eventually returned to pick it up. For the officials, time is critical to reunite mother and kitten. Leopard cats are common in this part of China.