Death of Scottish wildcat Huntleigh sparks donation surge

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Hundreds of well-wishers have helped smash a fundraiser set up after the death of a rare Scottish wildcat kitten in the Cairngorms.

The rare feline was found half-buried in snow near Huntly’s Cave, just outside Grantown-on-Spey on Wednesday, by two walkers.

Affectionately named Huntleigh, the kitten was taken to the nearest vet after his rescuers assumed it to be a domestic cat.

 Rare Scottish wildcat kitten rescued in Highlands passes away 

Despite the efforts of the vets, Huntleigh passed away on Friday due to pneumonia.

Chef Peter Macnab, who found the kitten with friend Piotr Peretko, set up a fundraising page in his memory to raise funds for the Saving Wildcats charity in the Cairngorms.

The fundraiser has pulled in almost £2000 donations since being set up on Saturday, with hundreds of people from across the world contributing to the cause.

Mr Macnab hopes the donations can serve as some help in the consolidation of the Scottish Wildcat colony.

“They really are beautiful animals, and they deserve a fighting chance,” he wrote on the fundraiser on Saturday. “I hope we have raised some awareness of the species, and hopefully one day their numbers rebuild to a stable, and thriving population.

 Rare Scottish wildcat kitten saved from ‘death’s door’ after rescuer mistakes it for domestic cat

“A massive thank-you to everyone involved, especially those who donated! This truly is an awesome story, raising funds for an excellent cause – local to everyone here in the heart of the Cairngorms!”

Mr Macnab revealed he plans to keep the fundraiser open for 14 days to raise some much needed funds for the charity.

He added: “I thank them for sponsoring the veterinary bill for Huntleigh the highland tiger, and have no doubt they’re efforts make a massive impact moving forward.

“All monies are kept remote by this site and shall remain untouched until the handover.”

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

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