Rare Sand Cat Kittens Delight Visitors in Israel

Tel Aviv Sand Cat
Tibor Jäger

A species that's currently extinct in the wild in Israel is now making a comeback at the Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan Safari. Four sand cat kittens recently emerged from their den and are starting to explore their habitat.

These are some seriously multicultural cats: Their mother, Rotem, arrived from Germany two years ago, and their father, Sela, came from Poland a few years earlier, according to the zoo. Last year Rotem gave birth to a single kitten, named Renana — which is why zookeepers were surprised that Rotem had four kittens this time around.

"Everyone at the zoo was worried that Rotem would not be able to take care of four kittens and bring them all to adulthood," says zoo spokeswoman Sagit Horowitz. "But Rotem just did her job as a mom."

Because the species is extinct in Israel (and endangered globally), these 3-week-old youngsters are enjoying their fame as local celebrities. And if you can't get enough of the little ones, here's a video of the little ones cuddling in their habitat.

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