Friday, 4 January 2013

Goodbye to Una


Sadly, the week before Christmas we said good bye to our eldest and one of our first wildcats at the British Wildlife Centre.

Una was one of the very first wildcats that came to the BWC, back in 1996. She arrived with her siblings and mother and quickly became one of our most well known animals. While here she went on to have many litters of kittens herself and provided much joy to many people getting up close to this rare and special animal.

Over the past few years, in the lead up to winter, Una had lost a bit of condition and was struggling to look after herself, but with careful looking after always bounced back for the Summer season. This winter however, she took a turn for the worse, and shortly before Christmas it was clear that she wasn't going to make it this time and it was kinder for her to allow her to pass away peacefully at the grand old age of 17.

Una will always be remembered as arguably the most photographed wildcat in the world! Almost all of the photos I see of a snarling wildcat is of Una, who always posed nicely and snarled on command for photographers, and is immortalised in many popular books on animals and has on numerous occasions been in top magazines such as BBC Wildlife!

5 comments:

  1. One of my best photos of a scottish wild cat was of Una. Will sadly miss.

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  2. Some of my best photographs are of her famous snarl, but she was easily the most beautiful cat I've come across. She'll be missed.

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  3. RIP, if only she knew how much she has done for her species!

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  4. Very, very sad news. I always had a soft spot for Una, possibly partly because she was the first snimal I photographed at BWC and a complete star.

    Last time I saw her it was clear in her eyes and fur that age was catching up, but I think the biggest surprise was that as we left the enclosure, she came so close she rubbed my leg. Not something she'd ever have done in the earlier years - get within a couple of feet and you were guaranteed fiery spitting!

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  5. Not many of these critters left, I have created an online gallery for artists to sell their work with a % of sales going to the Haven project to help them from becoming extinct:
    www.phillarsen.plus.com/wildcat
    If any of your photographers would like to help, the artists need lots of reference material and I have a "Box" account where photos can be uploaded to. Credit will be given if requested. Please take a look at the gallery and if you would like to help then email me at:
    wildcat@phillarsen.plus.com

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