Two rare & endangered African black-footed kittens were born through in vitro fertilization at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in Algiers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has the story, and some pretty damn cute pictures of these little felines.
From the Times-Picayune:
Their father, Ramses, was a sperm donor from the Henry Doorly Zoo Center for Conservation and Research in Omaha, Neb. Researchers gathered the sperm there in 2003, froze it and sent it to the Audubon Center, where researchers combined it with an egg from Zora, a former resident at Audubon, to create embryos in March 2005.
The scientists transferred the frozen embryos to Bijou in December, leading to the births in February. Scientists said litters of African black-footed cats typically include two offspring.
They look like striped domestic kittens, but they are smaller, wild and extremely endangered. Nineteen of the cats live in zoos in the United States. Only 40 others are accounted for around the world.