The Public Can Now See the Babies in the Zoo’s Outdoor Enclosure
The Lyon Zoo at the Parc de la Tête d’Or has welcomed four baby sand cats into its community, releasing them into the outdoor enclosure for the first time on March 29, 2018.
The babies, three males and one female, had their first medical checkup a month after they were born and were vaccinated last week, allowing them to finally take their first steps in the outside world.
Their mother arrived at the zoo last September, and the father, who came from the United Arab Emirates, has resided there since August of 2016.
The babies are an important step for the diversity of the species; the father carries a genetic line that European strains of the species do not have. Only 21 European zoos currently hold sand cats, and the species does not often reproduce well in captivity.
Sand cats are a mostly-nocturnal species that lives in the Sahara Desert, the Arabian peninsula, and central Asia. They are usually shy and not much is known about their typical patterns of behavior.