Ramat Gan Safari Park

Israel's Sand Cat Kittens Back by Popular Demand


Since so many of you loved our story about Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan's Sand Cat kittens yesterday, we couldn't resist sharing new pictures we received this morning.  The more recent images show the kittens a bit older and with their eyes fully open! Enjoy!



Photos by Tibor Jager

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Ramat Gan Safari Park Welcomes a Second Asian Elephant Calf

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Two female Asian Elephant calves have been born at Ramat Gan Safari Park in Israel. The first female to give birth was 7.5 year-old La-Belle, on August 2. As she is a very young mother, her own mother La-Petite, heavily pregnant herself, took over and nursed the calf. After a few nerve-wracking days of 24-hour monitoring, keepers could rest assured that the calf was getting enough milk, suckling from both her mother and her grandmother alternately. The calf, born a bit small, was named Latangi which means ‘slim girl’ in the Sanskrit language. (See our first story about Latangi here.)  

After exactly two months of anticipation, a second female calf was born to 28-year-old La-Petite. This time the calf was bigger and stronger and received the Hindi name ‘Lalana’ meaning ‘a girl’. Both mothers and calves are doing great. They are spending their days in the exhibit happily, together with the father Motek. The birth of the two calves is wonderful news, especially as Asian Elephants are a unique and endangered species. 

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Photo credits: Tibor Jager / Ramat Gan Safari Park

See video of the calves and mothers together:


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At Ramat Gan Safari, Mother and Grandmother Asian Elephants Raise Calf Together

1 elephant

When the elephant keepers at Ramat Gan Safari Park in Israel arrived on the morning of August 2, they found a newborn Asian Elephant calf. After 22 months of anticipation, it finally happened- the 7 year-old cow, La Belle, had given birth to a beautiful female. The calf has been given the Sanskrit name Latangi, meaning 'thin girl', because she was born weighing 70-80 kg, far less than the 100 kg that is usual for an Asian Elephant calf. 

For now it seems that the young calf is doing well, despite her low weight at birth. She nurses from both her mother and her grandmother. 25 year-old La Petite, La Belle's mother, is very active in the life of the newborn, and is also pregnant herself. This is La Belle's first time to give birth, and it may be that her mother is trying to show her the ropes. The pleased father is a 53 year-old male, Motek. This birth is an important occasion as Asian Elephants are an endangered species. Every calf born contributes to the conservation efforts of these animals. 

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Photo credits: Ramat Gan Safari / Tibor Jager. Last picture: Yael Hermon. Clip 1: Tibor Jager. Clip 2: Yael Hermon.

See videos of the newborn calf with her family:



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Israeli Zoos Cooperate to Foster Rare Vulture Chick

Sagit Horowitz (2)

A tiny chick hatched at Israel’s Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and raised at the Ramat Gan Safari Park is part of an effort to restore native Griffon Vultures to Israel.

With only 100 Vultures remaining in the wild in Israel, scientists don’t want to take any chances with the precious eggs breaking or being preyed upon.  So when a pair of wild Vultures in an Israeli nature reserve laid an egg, scientists collected the egg and brought it to the Jerusalem Zoo, where it was placed in the safety of an incubator. 

DSC_2930 Michal Erez (1)

DSC_2930 Michal Erez (2)

DSC_2930 Michal Erez (3)
Photo Credits: Sagit Horowitz (1), Michal Erez (2, 3, 4)

Meanwhile, at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, Vultures Donky and Kosta were sitting on a dummy egg, because the two eggs that they had laid earlier were removed from the nest.  Once the wild-collected egg began to hatch in the incubator at the Jerusalem Zoo, it was rushed to Ramat Gan Safari Park.

Vultures are unable to tell if a chick is theirs or not, so a brave zoo keeper entered Donky and Kosta’s enclosure, climbed up to the nesting shelf, removed the dummy egg, and replaced it with a newly hatched chick, which was still in its shell. Not an easy task when you have two protective Vultures nearby!

Father Kosta immediately returned to the nest to make sure the egg was still there after the "intruder's" visit. To his surprise, he found that a tiny chick waiting for him in the nest, begging for food. Kosta did not think twice and rushed to feed the chick

Kosta and Donkey have successfully fostered several chicks over the years.

By the age of 6 months, the chick will be taken to a nature reserve, where it will spend three years with other young Vultures until it is old enough to be released to the wild and join the wild population.