An Iriomote wild cat released back into the wild after recovering from injuries in a car accident

An Iriomote wild cat released back into the wild after recovering from injuries in a car accident

The Iriomote wild cat, with a transmitter attached, about to be released into the wild. In Iriomote Island of Taketomi Town on September 3(Photograph provided by the Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center of the Ministry of the Environment).


September 9, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

An Iriomote wild cat, classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was injured in a traffic accident on Iriomote Island in August. The Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center of the Ministry of the Environment, which had been taking care of the cat, released it into the forest when it recovered from injuries on the evening of September 3.

This is the first time an Iriomote wild cat has been released into the wild after a traffic accident.

The released cat is a five-month old female.

A college student passing by found the cat lying still in the middle of the prefectural road on August 26.

After being notified, the Wildlife Conservation Center sheltered the cat. She had a scrape on her forehead. The cat’s pupils looked odd. The center determined that the cat had been hit by a car because it had suffered injuries to the head.

The cat received medical treatment from the center, and recovered well. The center attached a collar with a transmitter onto the cat, and released her into the forest close to where she was found.

Makoto Fukuda,a conservation ranger at the center said, “It was fortunate the cat received medical treatment quickly. We would like people who find Iriomote wild cats or hit them while driving to always tell us.” He went on to say, “We would like people to drive safely with great caution, especially during evening hours on Iriomote Island.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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