How many wildcats are in the enclosure?
There are currently four wildcats in the enclosure. They are two pairs of brothers, both from different zoos. Carlo and Toco are from the zoo “Anholter Schweiz” in northwestern Germany, while Franz and Oskar are from the zoo in Goldau, Switzerland.
How big are the compounds?
The compounds are 135m², 160m² and again 160m² big. They are open to the sky and offer the wildcats climbing trees, shelters and hiding spots.
Why are all of the kept cats male?
This decision was made to protect potential offspring from a cruel fate. If we kept both male and female cats and if young kittens were born as a result, they could not be kept inside our enclosures. Though the mother lovingly raises them up to an age of six months, after that time has passed the mother completely rejects her young. There are currently no plans to release wildcats bred in captivity into the wild, plus the young kittens could not be prepared for a life in the wild in an enclosure like ours. The only option would be to give them to another zoo; however, since the minimal size for wildcat enclosures is merely 20m², it is likely that the young cats would be kept in unfit conditions. Those are the reasons why we decided to only hold male wildcats.
What do the cats eat?
The diet of our cats consists of a mix of mice, chicks and pieces of cow heart. Depending on availability, other meats may be used on occasion. Ca. 250-500g of raw are fed to each cat every day. The feeding times vary from day to day to not let the cats fall into a set daily rhythm, keeping them on their guard and cautious. To keep the cats in physical and mental good health, the food is spread out and hidden throughout the compounds, forcing them to search and think on their “hunt” for food.
All of the food is kept and fed dead. In Germany, it is not allowed to feed living animals. Only animals that reject any type of dead food will be fed live prey (for example some types of snakes).
Can I bring my dog into the village?
Yes, dogs are very welcome here. We provide fresh water for them at the entrance of the barn. They do have to be put on a leash when entering the enclosure. No extra fees are required for dogs.
Can I take pictures?
Yes, taking private pictures of our cats and our facilities is allowed; please do turn off flash when taking pictures of the wildcats themselves. Pictures for commercial or publishing purposes have to be discussed with the Management.