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Some seven years after abandoning the life of an international journalist for a life in the wilds, Mike Tomkies began a remarkable experiment, rearing the ferocious Scottish wildcat. The true wildcat is now an endangered species and only to be found in inaccessible parts of the Scottish mountains. It may look like a giant domestic tabby, but with its bright red tongue and vicious claws, it is a formidable and fearless opponent of mankind. It is justly noted for being untameable.
Mike resolved to breed a wildcat family and prepare them for a return to the wild. In the years that followed little of the scant scientific theory on wildcat behaviour was bourne out by his careful observations.
Originally published in 1987, this new edition includes an update of the lengthy appendix which discusses wildcat populations, history and research on the breed including issues of genetic purity.
Mike Tomkies is a well-known naturalist, writer and film maker and has lived for 35 years in remote and wild places in the Scottish Highlands, Canada and Spain. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. His other books include Moobli, Alone in the Wilderness, Between Earth and Paradise, Out of the Wild, Golden Eagle Years, On Wing and Wild Water, My Wicked First Life and Rare, Wild and Free.
'Mike Tomkies name is synonymous with the wildcat and he probably knows more about them in the wild than any other naturalist. ...Nobody has studied wildcats as much as Mike. His research led to a list of statements on page five of this new book. He states what the books say and then gives the true version from his own experiences. ...The book reveals Mike's plans to breed a wildcat family and prepare them for a return to the wild, and it is a fascinating account. The photographs are excellent and really enhance the very readable text.' - Ray Collier, Former Chief Warden, Highlands. Highland News, North Star, Lochaber News '... His story is illuminating... ...the author's eventual taming of a wildcat kitten forms a fascinating story which, still, very few people have been privileged to witness. ... ...Tomkies' books must be the first port of call for anyone interested in Scottish wildcats. ...will be deeply appreciated by anyone with any interest in our native wildlife and its conservation.' - Habitat