It took scientists four years of extensive research in Africa before they managed to shoot the first ever video of wild sand kittens living on the continent.
"We believe this was the first time researchers ever documented wild sand cat kittens in their African range," Grégory Breton, a member of the global wild cat conservation organization Panthera who took part in the expedition wrote in his blog.
Sand cats are small cats that live in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia and are usually very hard to find.
"They barely leave any visible pugmarks, they don't leave behind remains of their prey, and their vocalizations are quiet. They move stealthily at dusk, night, and dawn, they're good at hiding, and their fur provides the perfect camouflage when they want to vanish from observers and threats," Breton wrote.
Moreover, Breton stressed that "sand cats are a wild cat species that should not be captured from the wild," adding that people must keep that in mind and give up thoughts of catching and keeping them at home.
The footage of adorable kittens attracted a lot of attention in social media.
Many social users admired the animals, calling them "cute" and "beautiful."
Sand cats are soooo beautiful— St. Godzilla (@Zilla_Mon) 9 октября 2017 г.
So adorable!— Biodiversity Voices (@v4bio) 13 октября 2017 г.
Cute!— Dr Chris Barnes (@doctorbarnes1) 9 октября 2017 г.
However, some people expressed concerned about the expedition, saying that it'd be better if the animals would have been left alone.
i hope the kittens and the mother cat are okay after this experience.They are beautiful but a big part of me wishes they had been left alone— Cynthia, VT (@clhvelo) 9 октября 2017 г.