At the Audubon Center for the Research of Endangered Species in Algiers, Louisiana, a rare African black-footed kitten named Crystal was born on February 6, 2012. She was born as part of a program in which regular domestic cats act as surrogate mothers to rare and endangered offspring.

According to, African black-footed cats are among the smallest known felines, but are ferocious hunters, often killing prey that outweighs them, like hares. They can range far from water sources, obtaining hydration from the animals they kill and by licking dew from plants.

However, Grist says, "none of this general feline badassery has kept the species from becoming severely endangered -- there are only 40 in captivity worldwide."

Watch video of Crystal the African black-footed kitten, embedded via YouTube, below: