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Rare sand kittens make public debut

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 00:59

Three sand kittens, born three weeks ago and once considered extinct in Israel, delight crowds at Ramat Gan Safari Park. Roselle Chen reports.

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Three rare sand kittens born three weeks ago blinked in the sunlight and stayed close to their mother at Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv. Their father, Kalahari, was only recently brought to Israel from Sweden, after the mother's previous partner died a year ago. Zoo workers decided to let them have their own joint room for the night, an unusual practice as sand cats tend to be violent when left alone. But when three little kittens were spotted about two months later, it became clear this exceptional night was a success. SOUNDBITE: Tomer Shine, Ramat Gan Safari Park zoo keeper, saying (English): "The new babies are a really big surprise for us, we did not expect them, we didn't see any mating or any interaction between the parents, as we got Kalahari who is kind of the new guy here." Only 200 sand cats live in European zoos. The wild desert cat was once considered extinct in Israel and live mainly in the deserts of Asia and Africa.

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Rare sand kittens make public debut

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 00:59