The World's Fluffiest Wildcats Are Getting Their Own Park - Atlas Obscura
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The World’s Fluffiest Wildcats Are Getting Their Own Park

A Pallas’s cat preserve has been declared in Siberia.

Hello, Pallas’s cat! (Photo: kuzmina maria/shutterstock.com)

If you’re not familiar with the Pallas’s cat, it’s time you got introduced. This guy is housecat-sized, with soulful yellow eyes and more fluff than you could imagine. It looks like a cat in a fur coat.

It is also endangered and poorly understood. Luckily, researchers at an international conference on the Pallas’s cat recently agreed to set aside a 14-square-mile patch of land to preserve and study it, the Siberian Times reports.

The Pallas’s cat may look like he belongs at the foot of your bed, ready to star in Youtube videos and keep your feet warm. But they actually live in the rocky steppes of southern Siberia, Mongolia, and China, where they spend most of their time hiding out in caves and hunting for pika.

A Pallas's cat, in all his glory.

A Pallas’s cat, in all his glory. (Photo: Tambako The Jaguar/CC BY-ND 2.0)

This new sanctuary, located within Sailyugemsky Nature Park in the Altai Mountains, is meant to protect the cats from poachers, and to enable further study. At this point, we know very little about these reclusive cuties: “The latest data on this species… hasn’t been updated over the last 3 or 4 decades,” researcher Alexey Kuzhlekov told the Siberian Times. They’re not even sure exactly how many live within the new reserve.

So first comes a count—and after that comes, hopefully, the kind of true and rare understanding that bonds two species for eternity. Good luck, Pallas’s cat ambassadors.

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