In June 2014, an episode aired in which animal expert and NWF spokesperson David Mizejewski brings Conan O’Brien an adorable eight-week-old Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) kitten. “What a cute roar!” Conan says. O’Brien appears immediately smitten with the kitten, but Mizejewski points out he can’t adopt her: “She is still a wild animal, so you don’t want to have one of these for a pet”. “Trust me, this species won’t use a litter box in captivity.”
“How about for a little while? Just for like four years?” O’Brien asks. But even if he can’t adopt her, Mizejewski assures him that he can help because Asian Leopard Cats are heavily hunted for food, their fur and stuffed for tourist trophies. “At NWF, we need everybody’s help to help protect these animals in the wild.”
Technically called Felis Bengalensis, these tiny spotted felines are indigenous to a large part of Southern Asia. They have been crossbred with a domesticated cat to produce hybrids sold as “Bengal cats”. And after looking at her big round eyes and her cuteness, who wouldn’t want to protect the progenitor of the Bengal breed, that has made possible the unique appearance of its “manufactured” descendants?
You can donate or take action on the National Wildlife Federation website