Capron Park Zoo

Capron Park Zoo Welcomes Fennec Fox Trio

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Capron Park Zoo, in Attleboro, MA, excitedly announced the birth of three Fennec Fox kits!

Two females and one male were born on March 7 to five-year-old mom, Hannah, and two-year-old dad, Taz. According to Zoo staff, this the second litter for the parents.

The playful siblings are starting to venture out of the den and can be seen on exhibit with mom and dad.

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4_2 wks of agePhoto Credits: Dan DiBattista

The Fennec Fox or Fennec (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat.

The Fennec is the smallest species of canid. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to desert environments. Their large ears and sensitive hearing allow them to hear prey moving underground. Their diet consists mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds.

The Fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity. In the wild, their main predators are the African varieties of eagle owl. Families of Fennecs dig out dens in sand for habitation and protection, which can be as large as 120 m2 (1,292 sq. ft.) and join the neighboring dens.

Fennec Foxes are social and mate for life, with each pair (or family) controlling their own territory. Sexual maturity is reached at around nine months old. In the wild, mating usually occurs between January and February for litters born between March and April. However, in captivity most litters are born later, between March and July, although births can occur year round. The species usually breeds only once each year.

Gestation is usually between 50 and 52 days but may be longer in captivity. The typical litter is between one and four kits, with weaning taking place at around 61 to 70 days. When born, the kit's ears are folded over and its eyes are closed, with the eyes opening at around ten days and the ears lifting soon afterward.

More great pics, below the fold!

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Meet Capron Park Zoo’s New Serval Kitten

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Zuberi is a two-month-old Serval kitten whose name means “strength” in Swahili. His strength is exhibited by the playful exuberance he uses to approach life.

The small one (with the big ears) was born December 9 at Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, Massachusetts, to mom Summer and dad Sav.

Summer is two-years-old and arrived at the Zoo about a year ago. The intention was for Summer to bond and mate with resident Serval, Sav. The pair are offspring of wild Servals, and their genetics are an important contribution to their captive-held species.

Sav, unfortunately, suffered a serious injury as a kitten and lost one of his legs. Keepers were not sure of his reproductive abilities, which makes Zuberi’s existence even more meaningful.

Zuberi and his mom are now on exhibit at Capron Park Zoo.

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4_12697285_10156541194790344_1399046139259674688_oPhoto Credits: Capron Park Zoo

The Serval (Leptailurus serval) is a medium-sized African wild cat that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. DNA studies indicate it is closely related to the African Golden Cat and the Caracal.

The Serval can reach a maximum size of 59 to 92 cm (23 to 36 in) in head-body length, with a relatively short tail, 20 to 45 cm (7.9 to 17.7 in), and a shoulder height of about 54 to 66 cm (21 to 26 in).

The species is well adapted for detecting and capturing small animals in long grass. It also has the longest legs of any cat, relative to body size. Most of this increase in length is due to the greatly elongated metatarsal bones in the feet. The toes are also elongated, and unusually mobile. The head is small in relation to the body. Another distinctive feature is the large ears and auditory bullae in the skull, indicating a particularly acute sense of hearing. The closely set ears contain 22 muscles each, allowing them to rotate up to 180 degrees independently of each other. Their adult weight ranges from about 7 to 12 kg (15 to 26 lb) in females, and from 9 to 18 kg (20 to 40 lb) in males.

The pattern of the fur is variable. Usually, the Serval is boldly spotted black on tawny, with two or four stripes from the top of the head down the neck and back, transitioning into spots.

The Serval’s main habitat is the savanna, although melanistic individuals are more usually found in mountainous areas at elevations up to 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). The Serval needs watercourses within its territory, so it does not live in semi-deserts or dry steppes. They also avoid dense equatorial jungles, although they may be found along forest fringes. They are able to climb and swim, but seldom do so.

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Snacktime for Sloths at Capron Park Zoo

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A Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth was born in early September at Capron Park Zoo in Massachusetts. The baby is doing very well and enjoys hanging on to mom, munching on leaves, and taking naps. The little Hoffman's Sloth has been named Rayne for Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie Rainman, and is mom's second successful birth. The first, born last year, is named Hassel, for David Hasselhoff. 

Sloths are famously slow South American mammals that spend most of their time hanging upside-down from trees. After a long gestation period of about a year, Two-toed Sloths may even give birth while hanging upside-down!

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