23 Aug '12, 6pm

Rare sand cat kittens born in Israel

Rare sand cat kittens born in Israel

Four sand cat kittens were born at the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv in Israel, in a country where they’ve been extinct since the 1990s. Rotem, the zoo’s female sand cat that arrived from Germany in 2010, gave birth to the kittens about three weeks ago. “In the beginning of August, we were very happy to find two tiny kittens in the depth of the den with Rotem. On the next day the keepers already saw three and on the next one they were surprised to find a fourth one,” says Sagit Horowitz, a spokeswoman for the zoo. Rotem was paired with Sela, a male cat from Poland, as part of a European breeding program for sand cats, a species listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Sand cats typically give birth to an average of three kittens, and at first zoo workers were concerned that four might be a bit of an undertaking for Rotem. “We were ...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/rare-san...

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