Zoo Boise announced the birth of three male baby sand cats this week and boy, they some cute kittens!

This was the first litter born to proud parents Nala and Simba. According to a Zoo Boise news release, these kittens are not only the first sand cats ever born at the zoo, but they are also the first sand cats born in 2021 at a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums!

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As it turns out there are only 51 sand cats in zoos that are accredited which makes Zoo Boise responsible for caring for 10% of the total population of sand cats. “This is an incredibly significant birth for the entire conservation community,” said Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “The babies are doing well and we look forward to introducing them to the community.”

The sand cat kittens weighed an average of 90 grams each at birth so they definitely have a lot of growing to do before they reach the average full grown weight of a sand cat which is between three and seven and a half pounds.

Sand cats or sand dune cats, are native to Africa’s Sahara desert, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of central Asia. These cats are so cute I want one for myself however sand cats are far from domestic cats. They are described as being "opportunistic hunters" who can even attack and consume venomous snakes.

The babies will most likely be hidden away for a few more weeks as they bond with their mother, Nala. Once she is comfortable she will allow them to venture out and explore their exhibit. When that time comes, visitors will find the sand cats at Zoo Boise’s Small Animal Kingdom.

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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