North Carolina Zoo Announces Birth Of 'Cute But Ferocious' Sand Cat Kitten

September 10, 2020

The North Carolina Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a sand cat -- a small wild cat living in sandy and stony deserts.

sand cat kitten born at NC zoo
Credit: North Carolina Zoo / Facebook

Sand cats may be small but don’t let their petite size fool you. They weigh from four to eight pounds and measure, on average, 20 inches long. But they’re wild, fearless hunters that kill venomous snakes in the desert.

They’re also a rare sight to see because they live in harsh landscapes, are secretive in nature, and hunt at night.

Only 13 facilities affiliated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) have sand cats.

sand cat kitten born at NC zoo
Credit: North Carolina Zoo / Facebook

The kitten, small enough to fit into a teacup, was born to mother Najma and father Cosmo. This is the first kitten for the pair.

Although sand cats are incredibly appealing with their big ears, big eyes and petite frame, ask any zookeeper who cares for them about their demeanor and you’ll hear: they are wild, ferocious animals that should never be kept as pets.

sand cat kitten born at NC zoo
Credit: North Carolina Zoo / Facebook

Sand cats have an exceptionally keen sense of hearing, which they use to detect animals under the sand, and use their excellent digging skills to quickly capture their prey.

They are well-known to North African nomadic tribes as "snake hunters".

Here's a rare video of sand cats in the wild.

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