Kittens born in elephant house

IT'S a good job these little kittens have nine lives.Because the cute cats were born in an elephant enclosure in Colchester Zoo!Staff at the zoo were shocked when they discovered five kittens and their mum hiding in a storage tunnel by the enclosure, and quickly called Ipswich Cat Protection for help.

IT'S a good job these little kittens have nine lives.

Because the cute cats were born in an elephant enclosure in Colchester Zoo!

Staff at the zoo were shocked when they discovered five kittens and their mum hiding in a storage tunnel by the enclosure, and quickly called Ipswich Cat Protection for help.

Judy Mills, co-ordinator of Ipswich Cat Protection, said: "I was a bit gob-smacked when I got the call - I'd never been called to the zoo before.


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"One stomp of an elephant's foot and it would have been the end of them so they must have used many of their nine lives before we went in."

Mrs Mills said the kittens and their mum, a wild cat who has been named Nellie, had been living in the enclosure for about three weeks before they were rescued.

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She added it was impossible to tell if they had actually come into contact with the world's biggest land mammals, but said it was likely the feline family had remained in the dark tunnel after the birth.

She added: "I imagine she'd given birth there but how she got there I don't know.

"We just wanted to get them out of there fairly sharpish to make sure they were safe.

“The mother was angry and aggressive but the cats are now in one of our cat pens."

And a spokeswoman for Colchester Zoo added everyone at the zoo had been surprised to hear about the kittens when they were discovered.

She said: "I don't know why they went there."

n Has your cat used up one of its nine lives by surviving in dangerous situations? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Why cats are said to have nine lives

N In many European religions the cat used to be thought of as magical and otherworldly and today the cat's resilience still inspires fascination.

N Studies by physicists show 90 per cent of cats would survive a fall from a skyscraper, albeit with broken bones and sore paws.

N In Egypt, where the cat is a scared animal, people worshiped Atum-Ra, a god which created nine others and also took the form of a cat when visiting the underworld which may be why the number nine is associated with cats.

SOURCE: www.moggies.co.uk

African elephants can weigh up to 7,500 kgs whereas a three-week old kitten normally weighs only 0.28 kgs. That's 26,785 times more.

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