For the Year of Ecology, the Russian State Art Library has undertaken the sponsorship of a manul (also known as the Pallas’s cat)—the rarest wild cat, a fine and fluffy inhabitant of the Moscow Zoo.
This is the first time in the history of the Moscow Zoo that the Library has undertaken the sponsorship of an animal.
The Pallas’s cat was not selected at random. This cat is in need of special protective measures. The Pallas’s cat is an endangered species; thus, it is listed in the International Red Book of Endangered Species and the Red Book of the Russian Federation. And the hunting of the Pallas’s cat is strictly prohibited everywhere.
According to some authoritative ethnographers, it appears that among the peoples of Central and Middle Asia, many stories about cats are devoted to the manul. Often, in folklore there appears a lazy and clumsy cat, capable of waiting and watching for hours, and quickly hiding at the first sign of danger. This characteristic is very suited for this type of wild cat. But ours is not lazy and is quite agile.
The Pallas’s cat is the favorite cat on the Internet. The popularity of videos and photographs of this fluffy cat with round ears and large, expressive yellow eyes has increased so much that “manul-mania” has emerged. The cat is depicted on the emblem of the Moscow Zoo and has historically been its mascot.
In 2016, the Bank of Russia, in its Red Book series, issued a silver coin dedicated to the manul.
By participating in the Sponsor an Animal programme, we are contributing to the preservation of rare species of animals.
Our Library hopes that assistance for the preservation of the manul will allow the Moscow Zoo to continue its long-standing tradition of providing education about the environment and the humane treatment of animals.
We would be pleased if the RSAL’s readers would join our sponsorship of the wonderful Pallas’s cat.