A group of wildlife lovers on Friday rescued seven endangered fishing cat kittens from local villagers in Moulvibazar's Rajnagar area.
Earlier that day, several children found a fishing cat along with its seven tiny kittens at a paddy field. They chased away the mother cat but the kittens, which may be about five to six days old, could not escape.
The villagers, who barely know about this vulnerable species, tried to kill the kittens thinking they will grow up and prey on their livestock, fisheries and poultry. However, a group of wildlife lovers intervened and rescued the fishing cat kittens.
Those kittens are now being taken care of at the residence of one of their saviours.
Fishing cats are primarily fish eaters, but they are often misidentified to be tiger cubs or other carnivores. There are many instances where local people beat and kill them out of fear or amusement.
In 2000, the International Union for Conservation and Nature declared fishing cats an endangered species in South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh.
Twenty eight incidents of killing fishing cats were recorded between January 2010 and May 2017 in Bangladesh alone. Research reveals a declining fishing cat population, who face an array of severe threats from destruction of habitats to active persecution due to perceived conflict.
Habitat loss and destruction along with the killing of fishing cats by local people throughout the species' range has led to a global decline of population.