The footage below is the first of its kind – and it’s also absolutely adorable!
Sand cats, which live in the Sahara dessert, are incredibly elusive and difficult to spot, let alone catch on film. Nocturnal and crepuscular most of the time, these small felines are experts at camouflage. While adult sand cats are hard enough to find in the wild, their kittens are an even rarer sight…but now we can watch them, thanks to this incredible footage.
Scientists and conservationists Alexander Sliwa and Grégory Breton of the Sand Cat Sahara Team stayed up all night with their cameras and finally caught three adorable sand cat babies on camera. As the first team to film the kittens in their natural habitat, they recently released the video and it delighted feline fans everywhere!
See the amazing footage of the sand cat kittens below:
The only downside to these creatures being so gorgeous is that it makes people want to keep them as pets or breed them with domestic cats. But videos like this bring awareness to conservation efforts, as well as the importance of keeping species in their natural states.
A statement by Sliwa and Breton reads:
Despite expressly stating in our video (at 2:42) that sand cats are a wild cat species adapted to desert and semi-arid conditions and should not be kept or interbred (to make hybrids with domestic house cats, something that unfortunately started before our fieldwork), some people have expressed the desire to catch or obtain one to keep them at home. We are strongly against this practice and it would lead to the direct opposite of our goal of creating awareness and protection for the species in the wild.
A positive effect of the attention towards the video is that we have received comments and even photographic records on sand cats from the public, naturalists, and scientists. We expressly encourage citizen scientists to send these records to us as we are involved at a high international level for collecting them and making them available for status assessment and creating awareness. Please get in touch when you are confident and have proof that you have seen sand cats in the wild. Thank you very much.
We hope that education will turn more people into true animal lovers, like you; that is, people who only want what’s best for the species!