Five Bat-eared fox kits - 4 males and 1 female - were born on May 4 in their den at the Oklahoma City Zoo. This was the first offspring for both of their parents and the first litter of bat-eared foxes born at the Zoo since 2005. The kits weigh approximately one to two pounds each.
Bat-eared foxes are primarily nocturnal and the kits are still spending the majority of their time inside the den and out of sight. Lucky Zoo visitors might catch them scurrying about their yard in the early morning or late evening hours as they start to get older and more active.
Bat-eared foxes can grow to be about 2 feet long and can weigh anywhere from six to 12 pounds. They are a sandy brown color with darker markings on their ears, nose, feet and tails. Their feet have claws perfectly suited for digging, whether going after a tasty insect or hollowing out a cozy burrow.
In the wild, Bat-eared foxes live in the dry savannas and brush of eastern and southern Africa and are easily recognized by their huge 5-inch ears. These large lobes serve multiple purposes – they are full of blood vessels that help disperse heat and keep the fox cool, and they give them acute hearing for listening for their primary diet of insects. They can even hear the underground movement of a termite or beetle larvae!