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Shy Fennec Fox Kits Emerge at Artis Zoo

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Caretakers at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam are keeping an eye out for kits in their Fennec Fox exhibit. The mother has quietly given birth to at least two male kits since July 2nd, but it still isn't clear exactly how many have been born. Every now and then, caretakers have caught a glimpse of some kits and heard little squeaks coming from behind stumps and other hiding places.

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Photo credits: Ronald van Weeren / Artis Zoo

Fennec Foxes live in the deserts and semi-arid lands of northern Africa. Also called the Desert Fox, their most notable feature are their ears, which are enormous in proportion to their body size. An adult Fennec Fox measures about 16 inches (40 cm) in body length and has ears six inches (15 cm) long. These huge ears are used for cooling the body of excess heat and for locating prey, such as lizards, insects, and eggs, buried deep under the desert sand. Fennec Foxes are a species of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation's Red List of Threatened Species.