Many people own cats that are skittish and shy, yet that can’t match the elusiveness of the rare Arabian Sand Cat that has been spotted in the United Arab Emirates for the first time in ten years.
Sand cats live in deserts in parts of northern Africa and the Middle East. To capture images of them, researchers from the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi (Ead) and the Al Ain Zoo set up five motion-sensitive cameras in the Baynouna protected areas west of Abu Dhabi, where sandy plains and plenty of tasty rodents and lizards make for great sand cat habitat. As it turns out, studies in Saudi Arabia have found that Sand cats have a particular liking for chicken-flavoured cat food.
The more that’s known about these Sand cats, the more people can help protect them. Perhaps one day they’ll be so numerous that you could own your very own Arabian Sand cat, but until that day arrives, you’ll have to be content with your own cat ripping up your drapes and sofa instead.