The Highland Tiger: Scotland’s critically Endangered Wildcat

The Highland Tiger: Scotland’s critically Endangered Wildcat

By Carolyn Emerick

Celtic Guide, Vol.2:3 (2013)

The Highland Tiger: Scotland’s critically Endangered Wildcat

Introduction: The Scottish Wildcat, affectionately (or fearfully!) known as the Highland Tiger, has lived in the Highlands for thousands of years and is deeply imbedded in Scottish heritage and folklore. It is currently facing imminent extinction, so, more than ever before, it is imperative to bring awareness to the plight of this magnificent creature, and work together to ensure its survival.

Because if its temperament and brute strength, the Highland Tiger has a long standing reputation as a beast not to be trifled with. Although much smaller than a lynx, the Scottish wildcat is larger than domestic cat breeds, and males weigh in at up to 7.26 kilograms (16lbs). If his size is not too intimidating, his attitude surely is! The Scottish wildcat is described as highly aggressive and has been known to successfully take down prey its own size. Wild hares, larger than rabbits and close in size to the wildcat himself are on the Highland Tiger’s dinner menu. This cat is built like a virtual hunting machine. He has incredibly strong jaws, claws like steel, excellent vision, and ears that can rotate 180 degrees.

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