Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Sand Cat

Photo: Tom McHugh / Getty Images
These little guys live in sandy desert terrain in Africa, Asia, and Israel. Small and stocky, weighing 1 to 3 kilo, they have sandy fur with spots and stripes and resemble small house cats with big ears. Litters are limited to 2 to 3 mini-kitties, and because they're an endangered species, Ramat Gan Safari in Tel Aviv has provided a home for a group of them. 

The Wikipedia has an entry for sand cats here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_cat, and BuzzFeed has a piece here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rethinkisrael/18-reasons-the-sand-cat-is-your-new-favorite-animal with pictures and animations in an article entitled 18 Reasons The Sand Cat Is Your New Favorite Animal.

I'm looking forward to getting over there soon to see them.

Sea Turtle

These guys are much bigger than Sand Cats, but are also endangered -- frequently caught in fishermen's nets and too many times killed. Sea turtles come in flatbacks and leatherbacks, loggerheads and hawksbills, Kemp's and Olive Ridleys. Some of them grow to 5 feet long and weigh as much as 590 kilo!

Recently our sea turtle rescue center found this guy missing two flippers! Needless to say he was having great difficulty swimming. So, they have fitted him with a kind of dorsal fin that really helped him out. You can see the straps for the dorsal in the picture. This really great story can be read here: http://www.greenprophet.com/2014/freedom-the-turtle-israel/.

The Israel Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center URL here: http://www.israeltraveler.org/en/site/national-center-for-sea-turtle-rescue and, if you are interested in volunteering, you can see the center's Job Board here: http://www.seaturtle.org/jobs/index.shtml?view=519.

The Turtle Rescue Center is a bit of a trickeration to get to from Akko, so it may be summer before I get the opportunity to navigate over there, but I do intend to visit.

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