In spite of the fact that sand kittens were long believed to have become extinct in Israel, the birth of four cubs belonging to this species in a zoological park close to Tel Aviv stands as proof that not all is lost as far as safeguarding the country's biodiversity is concerned.
Because very few representatives of this species still remain in the world, the breeding program implemented at the Ramat Gan Safari had to bring the mother sand kitten all the way from Germany, whereas the father was sent here from Poland.
Environmentalists explain that sand kittens have become extinct in Israel primarily because constant interactions with other mammals have led to their losing large portions of their natural habitats and therefore suffering a steady decline in their population.
Because sand kittens are meant to live in the desert, the chances that these youngsters will get along with life in captivity are rather slim. Still, there is hope that the fours cubs will reach adulthood and will be entered into similar breeding programs.