SINGAPORE: Two critically endangered Asian leopard cats were rescued by an animal welfare group after being found abandoned in a carrier at Bukit Batok West last month.
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) said it received a call at about 10am on Dec 20 from a member of the public, claiming to have found two Asian leopard cats abandoned in a carrier at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6.
The cats were picked up by ACRES in the afternoon.
According to ACRES deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal, the cats seemed "very stressed from the environment and transport", but appeared to be fine externally.
Asian leopard cats are critically endangered in Singapore and are very rare. They can only be found in some restricted areas and nature reserves.
They are small nocturnal predators whose diet also consists of rodents, amphibians and reptiles, ACRES said in a Facebook post on Friday.
"Please leave wild animals in the wild. If you think the wild animal is in distress, please call our 24-hour wildlife rescue hotline 97837782 for assistance," the post added.
This is not the first case of Asian leopard cats from the illicit pet trade being found in Singapore, said Ms Anbarasi.
Two were reported to be kept as illegal pets in July 2018, with another being abandoned that same year.
ACRES' 2015 investigation on online wildlife trade showed that Asian leopard cats were offered for sale, along with other wild mammals like slow lorises.