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4 Rare (and Adorable) Sand Cat Kittens Born in Israeli Zoo (Video)

4 Rare (and Adorable) Sand Cat Kittens Born in Israeli Zoo (Video)

The sand cat is the only cat found primarily in true desert. Native to deserts in northern Africa and southwest and central Asia, the sand cat has evolved to survive in such a harsh climate and, says the site ZooBorns, can thrive in far drier environments than any other feline. Like the Fennec Fox, Sand Cats have “big furry pads between their toes to dance along the hot sand and oversized ears, which act like radiators to disperse heat.”

Since 2008, the sand cat has been listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to concerns about potential low population size and decline. The degradation of desert ecosystems has led to a decline in its food source of small mammals; the IUCN notes that the loss of the sand cat’s habitat could result in its population declining by 30 percent. Inadvertent trapping by farmers and disease from domestic animals have also contributed to a decline in the sand cat population and the animals are now extinct in Israel.

Happily, in early August, four rare sand cat kitten were born in Israel’s Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan – Safari to Rotem, a sand cat who was brought from Germany. As ZooBorns notes, the kittens were the first successful sand cat births at the zoo. It is hoped that they will become part of Israel’s Sand Cat Breeding Program, whose aim is to reintroduce the sand cat into the wild.

Here’s a video of the kittens, who are quite adorable.

 

 

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Photo by Squeezyboy

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85 comments

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3:43PM PST on Nov 12, 2012

great news thnx ciao

8:38AM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

so cute

3:03PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

I love that video ! Those kittens are sooo cute !!!

2:31PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

They are precious. I hope they are able to get the numbers up. I'd hate to see them become extinct.

7:00PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

very cute animals. It would be such a shame if they became extinct.

4:40PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

I hope they are successful in helping the Sand Cats to recover.

4:24AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

What is wring with the US that it allows people to own wild animals as pets? Declawed - how barbaric and cruel. Kept in a loving, but all the same dungeon. At least these animals have now been rescued thanks to the owners doing the right thing.

5:06PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

So beautiful!

11:57AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Aw, so cute!

8:11AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

good news :) thanks for sharing

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