Adorable New Addition to Utah Zoo Is Also World’s Deadliest Cat


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When we think of fearsome wild cats, tigers, lions, and leopards are usually the first species that come to mind. As it turns out, the most dangerous cat isn't the largest. But it is very cute. Utah's Hogle Zoo introduced an 8-month-old black-footed cat, which has earned the title of “world's deadliest cat” due to its remarkable hunting success rate.

The young feline, named Gaia, is part of the North American breeding program run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Black-footed cats are considered vulnerable with about 9,700 animals left in the wild, so it is their hope that she will mate with the 3-year-old male at Utah's zoo named Ryder. The two cats are currently kept in separate enclosures until Gaia matures.

Although black-footed cats only weigh between two and six pounds, they are master hunters who catch their prey—usually rodents, reptiles, birds, and insects—60% of the time, which is all the more impressive considering large wild cats have an average success rate of 25%. “While animals like Ryder and Gaia may be found in Africa, far away from what we do on a daily basis… they become representatives of a conservation message that applies to everything here,” says Bob Cisneros, Hogle Zoo's associate director of animal care. Hopefully things go well between the two future love birds and conservation efforts go according to plan.

A black-footed cat named Gaia was recently introduced to Utah's Hogle Zoo.


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Utah's Hogle Zoo: Website | Instagram
h/t: [Smithsonian Magazine]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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