WATCH: In Israeli zoo, newborn kittens bring sand cats back from extinction
German mother and Polish father give birth to four kittens at Ramat Gan Safari Park.
Mazal tov! A breed of cat that was extinct in Israel has found new life at Ramat Gan Safari Park. Rotem, a sand cat from Germany, and Sela, from Poland, are the proud purring parents of four little kittens – two boys and two girls – who were born in Israel earlier this month.
According to Keren Or, Zoological Information Coordinator at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, the "sand cat is an extinct species in Israel, although in the world it's not extinct, it's nearly threatened." In an interview with Reuters, Or added that "here in Israel, it has been extinct because it was pushed away from the sand by other mammals."
Sand cats are true desert cats that have a high mortality rate among newborns in captivity, according to Reuters. But these kittens are doing fine so far.
The Ramat Gan reproduction program manager has begun searching for homes for the youngsters at various zoos, according to the park's website. But, in the meantime, mom Rotem is taking good care of the four siblings.