Four Indian small civet kittens rehabilitated

Four Indian small civet kittens rehabilitated

NASHIK: With the efforts of the Eco Echo Foundation and Nashik West Forest Department, four male Indian small civet kittens (a species under wild civets) were rescued and rehabilitated from a sugarcane field in the Deolali Gaon area on July 07. As the kittens have grown up and are all set for the next rehabilitation milestones, the kittens were shifted to RESQ Charitable Trust’s Transit Treatment Center on August 18.

The kittens were barely eight to nine days old when their mom was mauled to death by a dog. However, the forest department and Eco Echo Foundation’s team didn’t let the mother’s sacrifice go in vain and shifted the newborns to the forest department and foundation’s transit treatment center.

During the rescue, each kitten weighed around 115 grams. With the nutritious meals at regular intervals, the kittens grew to weigh 300 grams each in a month and a half.

At the initial stage, these babies were fed with a syringe four times a day. The volunteers used special milk formula to feed the kittens as it avoids complications and provides the right amount of nutrition required.

As the newborns need 10 per cent meal of their weight, the volunteers fed them 10 to 12 ml of special formula daily at regular intervals. As the kittens started developing, the feeding increased gradually as per their weight.

Subsequently, the volunteers included solid items like fruits and non-veg in the rehabilitated ones’ diet. Even though they didn’t respond initially to the solid food, they gradually started nibbling on the food. Their diet included egg white, chicken pieces, berries, anjeer, and others.

While taking care of these cats, the volunteers took several precautions like maintaining the required temperature, sterilizing the syringe before every use, keeping a separate vessel for their feeding, and allowing separate volunteers just for the kittens. The kittens will remain at RESQ Charitable Trust’s Transit Treatment Centre for another sixth to seven months for their training and will be released into the wild accordingly.

Abhijeet Mahale, Vaibhav Bhogale, Rutwik Patil, Shantanu Pawar, Sahil Birari, Sidhhi Pancharia, Sheznay Quadras, Sherly Rakhi, Ayush Patil, Aditya Samel, Vrushali Vaidya, Akshay Kumawat, Pooja Ladhha, and Twinkle Metkar took care of the kitten over a month.

Bursting Myths

Abhijeet Mahale, a member of Eco Echo Foundation, stated that spreading awareness among citizens about these Asian civet cats is the need of the hour. There are several misconceptions attached to these cats as people believe they feed on dead bodies and are harmful to children.

However, none of these stands true. In reality, these cats work as cleaning workers of nature. They feed on the berries and small mammals at large. They are found in human settlements and forest areas due to variety of food items included in their diet. They are usually spotted in heritage trees like old banyan trees as they love the heritage trees’ fruits.

"Our team and Eco Echo Foundation’s team rescued these babies from the field area and moved them for rehabilitation. After proper treatment and care, the kittens were shifted to the charitable trust for further training. I request people to contact the department or the foundation if they spot any injured animal/bird and refrain from harming any species.”

- Vivek Bhadane, Range Forest Officer, Nashik West Forest Department

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