The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has announced the birth of four sand cat kittens and they are incredibly cute.
The four kittens were born on March 25 to mother, Nadya, and father, Napoleon. Since their birth, the Zoo has been monitoring the kittens’ health and development through a webcam installed in their den box.
There are two male kittens and two female kittens and will one of you please pony up some money so we can name two of them Cactus and Hugs.
“I’m thrilled with how the kittens are developing,” said Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Head Veterinarian. “They are becoming more adventurous each day and will soon begin exploring the areas outside their den box. Sand cat kittens are born with their eyes closed and weigh approximately one ounce at birth. At two weeks their eyes begin opening and by four weeks they have begun to walk and explore areas inside and near their den. By eight weeks they have weaned and are eating food and are independent from their mother.”
It’s the first sand cat birth at the zoo since 2004 and the inaugural birth in the Zoo’s Desert Carnivore Conservation Center.
Sand cats are native to Northern Africa and southwestern and central Asia. They have thick fur that insulates them from the cold, heat, and blowing sand. Mostly solitary animals, except during breeding, sand cats have an average litter of four kittens.
“This is a historic birth for us,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care at The Living Desert. “Due to their very elusive nature and excellent desert camouflage, very little is known about sand cats, including their populations in the wild. We are proud to be participating in species conservation efforts that support these special felines.”
The zoo announced that sand cats and their kittens will remain in the behind-the scenes Desert Carnivore Conservation Center.