The Greensboro Science Center is home to five fishing cats. Tallulah (female) was born on July 29, 2011 and came to us from Columbus Zoo. Mako (male) was born on September 14, 2013 and came to us from the EFBC Feline Conservation Center in California. Angler (male) was born on February 15, 2018 right here at the GSC - as were his sisters, Katara and Korra, born on April 3, 2020!
As nocturnal animals, fishing cats are most active at night. During the day, guests can expect to see our cats napping on high perches (they do love to climb!), exploring enrichment items, and checking out guests through the exhibit window. You may notice that there is rarely a fish in the fishing cats' water feature. This form of enrichment is only offered occassionally as the animals will begin to ignore the fish if they see them too much.
KEEPER NOTESOne day, Mako grabbed the hose from me when it got too close to his holding space. The hose was on and he kept biting it and puncturing holes in it but did not let go. He thought it was something that needed to be destroyed.
Tallulah's favorites include capelin, silver sides, chunk horse meat, chicken, and cool whip or whipped cream. Mako's favorites are, well, anything!
Tallulah likes to roll in chalk (think sidewalk chalk) and explore bedding from other animals. Mako's favorite enrichment is anything that involves food!
Our fishing cats are trained on several behaviors that make veterinary exams and procedures easier. Tallulah and Mako can both target, sit, shift, scale, and stand on their hind legs. Mako can also sit on command and lay down.
Native to wetlands, marshes, tidal forests, and mangrove swamps in Southeast Asia
Fish, birds, small mammals, snakes and snails
25" - 34"; tails can be as long as half the length of the body
15 - 25 pounds
Up to 17 years in captivity
Fishing cats generally bear 2 or 3 young after about 63 days gestation.
Threats include habitat destruction and pollution that poisons the rivers and streams where they hunt.