North Carolina Zoo: Meet Layla, A Newborn Sand Cat

On Thursday, the North Carolina Zoo announced that they have welcomed a tiny sand cat. Representatives for the zoo said that the cat was so tiny that it can fit a teacup. They named her Layla.

Because of its coat of fur and wiry whiskers, the sand cat looked like a cheerful household pet. However, wildlife officials warned that they are ferocious and wild animals and should never be kept as pets.

Sand cats are native to North Africa and Arabian Peninsula, where they search through the deserts to prey on poisonous snakes and other critters. People cannot see them because sand cats usually hunt at night.

The North Carolina Zoo is one of the few wildlife facilities to take care of these species. They welcomed the sand cat on the 10th of October.


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Wildlife officials stated that the sand cat is the tiniest type of felines. It is was born to mother Najma and father Cosmo. Moreover, it is expected to weigh up to 8 pounds.

Layla and its mother have limited contact with the zoo staff and animal keepers. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, they live in a desert habitat.

The other parts of the North Carolina Zoo are open to the public. However, there are advanced ticket requirements and other protocols to help prevent the spread of the pandemic.