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August 16, 2012 10:59 am

Once Extinct in Israel, Sand Cats Born in Tel Aviv (VIDEO)

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Mom and Baby Sand Cat at Cincinnati Zoo. Photo: wiki commons.

The sand cat, a rare feline species and one that was believed to be extinct in Israel, has made a comeback.  The desert dwelling cat, generally found in extremely hot areas such as the Sahara and Arabian deserts, returned to Israel recently when sand kittens were born in a Tel Aviv safari.

The Jerusalem Zoo made a concerted effort to reintroduce sand cats into Israel by creating a special space for the cats to dwell safely, and then released them into the wild.  The project was deemed unsuccessful in 2010 after the cats died.

According to the Jerusalem Zoo, the sand cat’s extinction in Israel followed  the territorial exchange between the Jewish state and Jordan in the peace treaty with the Arab country signed in 1994.

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To watch a video of the new Israeli sand cats, click below.

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