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Rare Sand Cat kitten born at Israeli zoo

August 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A rare Sand Cat has been born at a zoo near Tel Aviv, Israel.

The female kitten, named Renana, is the first Sand Cat species to be born at the Ramat Gan Safari (also known as Safari Zoo). The species used to be common in the dunes of Israel, but is now extinct in the region.

Zookeepers said the kitten's mother, Rotem, gave birth about three weeks ago. However, the kitten emerged from its outdoor enclosure only recently. Zookeepers said they first saw the kitten when it poked its tiny head out of the den.

Ramat Gan Safari is hoping the kitten will join Israel's Sand Cat Breeding Program in order to help reintroduce the species into the wild.

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