Video Of The Week — Gorgeous Sand Cat Kittens Seen In The Wild For The First Time

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Photo Credit: Gregory Bretton via Panthera.org

In late September, Gregory Breton and his team were returning to their campsite after spending seven long hours scouting the hot, dusty, Moroccan Sahara for sand cats. Suddenly, just four kilometers away from their destination, they noticed three pairs of gleaming eyes. Upon getting closer, the researchers realized they had stumbled upon something that, to their knowledge, had never been encountered in the wild before – sand cat kittens!

Breton, who works with Panthera, a non-profit organization devoted to conserving the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems, says finding the felines is not easy. That’s because the stealthy animals that are most active at dusk, night, and dawn are extremely good at hiding and have the perfectly colored fur to help them blend in with their environment. The cats also leave behind no visible pugmarks or prey remains, making them extremely hard to track.

Though the kittens that the researchers found were too young for radio-collars, the team did manage to put a tracking device on an adult female sand cat, possibly the mother, that was also discovered in the area. Breton, who outlined the discovery in his blog, writes, "If we collect footage of her and follow her for a long period, we can gather data on the natural reproduction cycles and offspring dispersal of this species in the wild - all topics never before documented."

Photo Credit: Gregory Bretton via panthera.org

Though they may look frail, sand cats, which possess slightly broader faces and bigger ears than domestic cats, are hardy animals. Endemic to northern Africa, the Middle East and southwest and central Asia, the animals endure the desert’s wild temperature fluctuations by digging burrows in the sand or taking shelter beneath rocks and shrubs during the day. The adept hunters obtain most of their moisture from their prey, which includes rodents like mice and gerbils, as well as small birds, lizards, and snakes.

Resources: Panthera.org, earthtouchnews.org

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2217 Comments
  • cina-oreo
    cina-oreoThursday, January 21, 2021 at 8:24 am
    They are so small!
    • astetic_dreams
      astetic_dreamsWednesday, January 20, 2021 at 2:23 pm
      They say that they are butiful but they also e just so cute!
      • witchgirl
        witchgirlTuesday, January 19, 2021 at 12:28 pm
        THIS IS SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        • claire_bear7
          claire_bear7Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:52 am
          Awwww these remind me of my cat stormie who passed away 3 weeks ago this makes me miss him but they’re cute!
          • gachagirl45
            gachagirl45Friday, December 18, 2020 at 6:35 am
            awww so cute also just wanted to say thank you to my ONE follower therealsnakes, thank you!
            • sheeps_4dayz
              sheeps_4dayzWednesday, December 16, 2020 at 8:29 am
              I have 3 cats 1. Buffy 2. Rubel 3. Mya
              • sheeps_4dayz
                sheeps_4dayzWednesday, December 16, 2020 at 8:29 am
                A lot of mine have died like Diamond
              • gachagirl45
                gachagirl45Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 7:35 am
                AHHH THEY'RE SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                • tabbymaster
                  tabbymasterThursday, December 10, 2020 at 5:26 pm
                  I have 2cats named Betty and JoJo.but I also have a bird
                  • tabbymaster
                    tabbymasterThursday, December 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm
                    Omg they are so cute
                    • dede123
                      dede123Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 12:34 pm
                      cute