Three Sand Kittens Born At Idaho Zoo, Look Absolutely Adorable

Three Sand Kittens Born At Idaho Zoo, Look Absolutely Adorable

Can you feel the love tonight? Well proud parents Nala and Simba—and pretty much everyone else at Idaho’s Zoo Boise—sure can as they welcomed a trio of adorable ᴍᴀʟᴇ sand cat kittens into their family on April 4.

Weighing in at only 9 grams each, all three healthy sand cat babies (currently unnamed) weigh only around ʜᴀʟꜰ ᴏꜰ ᴀ ᴘᴏᴜɴᴅ combined and fit perfectly in the palm of their zookeeper’s hand! According to the zoo’s Instagram announcement, this is both Nala and Simba’s first litter of kittens and the first sand cats ever born at Zoo Boise. Not only are these births exciting news for the zoo, but they are incredibly important to the continued conservation of sand cats worldwide.

“These births are not only important for Zoo Boise, but vital for the conservation of sand cats worldwide,” a spokesperson said. “There are only 51 sand cats in zoos accredited by the AZA, which means Zoo Boise is currently caring for 10 percent of the total ᴘᴏᴘᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.”

Nala and Simba were paired together as part of the Sand Cᴀᴛ Sᴘᴇᴄɪᴇs Sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ Plan, a conservation program aimed at maintaining a healthy and ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ diverse population of sand cats in order to increase their numbers.

“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.”

Though the sand cat kittens may look small and cuddly now—and will only get to be between three and seven pounds once fully grown—they’ll one day be mighty. The huggable-looking sand cats are actually ꜰᴇʀᴏᴄɪᴏᴜs, opportunistic ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀs and are known to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ and consume ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs sɴᴀᴋᴇs, according to the post.

If you love baby animals (and who doesn’t?) you’ll be delighted to hear you can go see the baby sand cats for yourself while they’re still sweet and tiny. The babes will be located in Zoo Boise’s Small Animal Kingdom once mom Nala allows them to leave their den box and start exploring their new exhibit in a few weeks.

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