Little Toothy Sabers Captured in Video
These sand kittens were spotted in Maroco by a team working for Panthera. A public charity founded in 2006 by Thomas and Daphne Kaplan, dedicated to the conservation of the worlds wild cats species and their ecosystems.
It was 2 a.m. in the Moroccan Sahara, and I was heading back to camp after seven hours of driving through sand, dust, and prickly vegetation on my fifth and final expedition to document sand cats. I was chatting with our local driver, Elhaj, to keep him awake, while my colleague Alexander Sliwa spent a few more minutes squatting on the roof of our Toyota Land Cruiser shining spot lamps into the bushes, close to giving up.
Then, it happened. Three pairs of eyes gleamed back at Alexander through the darkness about 4 kilometers from our campsite. They belonged to young sand cats, yellowish, small wild cats with broader faces and larger ears than domestic cats.
This encounter occurred nine days into an expedition to locate sand cats and has a good description on the Panthera blog written by Grégory Breton. Wildlife study can be a frustrating and challenging work, and we get to enjoy these magnificent images on the comfort of our homes. If you are interested in some details, It's a compelling short read that I recommend.
My sand cat expeditions in the Sahara started in 2013, when Alexander—the world’s leading specialist in black-footed cats, heading a 25-year study on this species in South Africa—and I discovered that more sand cat sightings were being reported in Morocco. We decided to travel there and try to spot some cats ourselves. For our first adventure, we found Elhaj, a Sahrawi driver who was born in the desert and knows it very well. Even though he had never seen a sand cat before, he agreed to transport us.
Feeling your heart melt and want to support their effort? Visite the Panthera website and select the option get involved. There you will be able to assist the project by organizing a fundraising campaign, donating or help identify wild animals captured in camera traps.
Photo: Grégory Breton
Source: Panthera blog