Ronja, a two-year-old Arctic Fox at Munich's Hellabrunn zoo, gave birth to cubs on April 26 in the privacy of her den, but only now – roughly seven weeks later - are keepers and zoo visitors getting their first glimpse of the babies! Initially five cubs had been counted… but then, keepers spotted a sixth! The individual cubs can be identified by the color of their fur - one has white paws, another a white bib, and one is completely grey. It's still too early yet to know what sex each is. These are the first Arctic Fox cubs to be born in the entire 102 year history of the zoo.
The cubs spend most of their time cuddling up to their mother in their den. Although the little ones still sleep a lot, they are getting more active all the time. About five times a day Mom and Dad (named Yaqui, also two years old), show them the world beyond the den for about 15 minutes at a time. And where they once only nursed, at this age they are almost weaned, as their pointed teeth have grown in and they have begun to eat meat.
Read more about these cubs after the fold:
Zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem, is pleased with their development, saying, "This is the first time that Arctic Foxes have been born at Hellabrunn. In their first six weeks of life the six cubs have - despite the bad weather - grown well and are becoming more independent on a daily basis."
While Arctic Foxes are currently sporting a short, rather dark coat, this will change in winter. Their coats will grow to be twice as thick and keep the animals comfortably warm even at the lowest minus temperatures. The Arctic Fox can adapt perfectly to the temperature outside at any time. Even the color changes with the season - from grey-brown to snow white. They are also called Polar Foxes.