A rare Sand cat kitten was born in Israel three weeks ago, and made its first public appearance this week. Sand cats, also known as sand dune cats, are small and stocky felines which live in North African and Middle Eastern deserts.
The kitten was born at the Zoological Center – Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, and is named Renana, meaning “joy” or “song” in Hebrew. Renana is the first Sand cat ever born at the Ramat Gan Safari. Three weeks ago, Renana’s mother, Rotem, refused to come inside for the night, and the following evening, she gave birth to Renana in an outdoor enclosure.
With pale yellow fur, the Felis margarita, or Sand cat, lives in burrows in areas that are even too hot for the African wildcat. The Sand cat no longer exists in the wild in Israel, and is endangered in other habitats including the Sahara and deserts of Iran and Pakistan.
Renana is expected to join Israel’s Sand Cat Breeding Program which plans to reintroduce sand cats into the wild. The Zoological Center Tel Aviv- Ramat Gan, where Renana was born, hopes that the kitten will help remove the species from risk of extinction.
A 2,000-year-old sword was found in an ancient tunnel in Jerusalem. Researchers believe that rebels hid in the ancient Jerusalem tunnel while the Romans crushed the Jewish revolt. The 2,000-year-old sword was abandoned with the other relics after the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Originally, the tunnel was meant to drain rain water, but the enterprising rebels used it to hide from the Roman soldiers to avoid certain deaths around 70 A.D. Now the tunnel is under a mostly Arab neighborhood in modern Jerusalem. How sad that this city is still in an uproar and there is never true peace there.
The 2,000-year-old sword is 24 inches long, and it was still with its leather sheath, which is rather surprising. Eli Shukron, who is in charge of the dig, said, “We found many things that we assume are linked to the rebels who hid out here, like oil lamps, cooking pots, objects that people used and took with them, perhaps, as a souvenir in the hope that they would be going back.”
Other relics of an ancient war that were found in the underground passage were oil lamps, pots and coins. The tunnel will be open for the public very soon.