Jean S. Mill
An American made the first cross with an American Shorthair and ALC. In 1963, the couple's first hybrids were born.
In the 1970s he was researching leukosis using Asian leopards but also domestic cats which produced hybrids. His studies were funded by the Department of Biology at DAVIS University to eradicate a deadly disease that has devastated populations of cats at the time
It was in 1980 that he ended his research and offered Jean S. Mill to entrust him with his female hybrids. Obviously, Jean doesn't just take care of his new companions, but decides to set up an experimental breeding program with hybrids, aiming to create a new breed. CLA and hybrids were then crossed with Siamese, Burmese and Egyptian Mau to fix certain physical characteristics but also to avoid the risk of inbreeding.
Cats from these new lines wore the wild appearance of CLA but retained the confidence of the domestic cat and were as outgoing as them.
Jean S. Mill has worked the hybrids to make them look spectacular but also to make excellent companions without any fear or aggression towards humans. It was a success!
The Bengal Cat was officially named the Bengal in 1974 by Bill Engler. There is still some speculation as to the “true” origin of the breed name. It has been claimed that the name originated from the Bengal cat's legacy: felis bengalensis, and others were true to the story that the name was indeed inspired by Bill Engler himself, B. Engle.
A zoo keeper
Who was William (Bill) Engler? Bill Engler was a zookeeper and an active member of the Long Island Ocelot Club, LIOC. In early 1964, Bill composed a "Plea for Cats" to members of LIOC in which he shared that having been in the import, procurement and sale of exotic cats for a number of years, each subsequent year he found them more and more difficult to obtain. And the only way he could see to save the exotic cats was by raising them in civilization much like ordinary dogs and cats. In 1967, Bill Engler received the LIOC Lotty Award, an annual award presented by LIOC which signifies unusual devotion to exotic felines, exemplary conduct at home and abroad in relation to exotic cats, and unusual service at the club, the LIOC.
Bill was also active in film work, behind many widely admired feline scenes on television.
In 1970 Bill stated that he had two litters of "bengal" sired by his Leopard Cat Shah.
He stated that his goal with the hybrids was: "To create an exotic little cat that was beautiful and had the disposition to suit a domestic cat, which had greater resistance to the diseases of civilization than its cousins, and which would breed. easily. "
In 1975, Bill said he had now produced over 60 Bengals and bred “2.5” generations. Bill was considered a "Bengal pioneer" and was active in the early years of the Bengal breed by hybridizing leopard cats to pets, but none of today's Bengals can be traced to Engler lines.
William Engler submitted the Bengal name to national registers and the breed name was official. The Bengal was accepted for registration through the ACFA and the Bengals were now registered by several different breeders.
In 1975 it was reported that Bill's Bengal cats had reached the third generation and for a time the males were considered sterile making a true breed impossible. Then, a few fertile males were produced which allowed a breakthrough in this field. Bill Engler died on March 17, 1977.