A trio of Sand Cats was born in April at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Brno. The genders of the kittens are not yet known. These petite cats weigh less than seven pounds (3.2 kg) as adults.
Photo Credit: Zoo Brno
These cats are native to northern Africa and southwestern Asia. They are the only wild cats living in true deserts, often far from water. Thick fur protects their paws from the hot desert sand. In extreme heat, they duck into burrows dug by foxes or porcupines, but they can also tolerate very cold temperatures.
Sand Cats hunt small rodents, primarily at night. Their hearing is extremely well developed, allowing them to detect prey underground. Studies have shown that Sand Cats travel three to six miles (5-10 km) each night in search of prey.
Though not currently threatened, Sand Cats live in fragile environments and are not legally protected within some countries. They are bred in zoos as part of the European Endangered Species Programme.