Among the animals collected and brought to the Zoological Garden in June (15.6.15) as part of the 'collect and save' mission at the sand dunes of Beer Milka, were two females of the species Sahara sand viper (Cerastes vipera),  a poisonous snake endemic to the deserts of North Africa, Sinai and Israel.

In this species it is easy to distinguish between males and females – the latter have a black tail (see upper photo).

On 9.8.15, almost two months after they had been collected from the field, the two females gave birth to live young – a possible indication of breeding in this species.
Females of this species do not lay eggs, and one of them gave birth to eight live young and the other – to two. 

When the young leave their mother's body they are wrapped in a thin membrane, but soon extract themselves from it and start to wander around. They are poisonous, and therefore dangerous, from the moment they are born. In the photos: the mother before giving birth and the young snakes, only minutes old.

Photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

Photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

Photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

Photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

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