Fennec Fox

UPDATE! Happy Hollow Fennec Fox Kits Still Adorable

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On Monday, March 30th, we started off your week with the undeniably adorable Fennec Fox kits, at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo!

The quad is back, to help round out the week, with images from their latest photo-op! As you can see, they are getting stronger and growing fast…ears and all!

The two boys and two girls were born, in January, to mom, ‘Safar’, and dad, ‘Clyde’.  Unfortunately, their mom’s previous offspring did not survive. Zoo keepers decided to hand-rear the recent litter, in an effort to increase their chances of survival. When the kits are strong enough, keepers anticipate being able to reintroduce them to their parents. 

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11037072_10155359130075176_3862218463193916278_nPhoto Credits: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

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Fennec Fox Kits Make Social Media Debut

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Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, in San Jose, California, is proud to share the birth of four Fennec Fox kits!

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10854365_10155307327500176_7819868222250320675_oPhoto Credits: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

The quad was born on January 23, and they recently made their social media debut. The two males and two females are being hand raised by keepers at the Zoo and will soon make their zoo exhibit debut.

The Fennec Fox is a small nocturnal fox that is native to the Sahara of North Africa. It is the smallest species of canid in the world. Their coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, and desert environments.

The large ears are indeed indicative of heightened auditory abilities. Its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. The Fennec Fox eats mainly insects, small mammals and birds.

Fennec Foxes mate for life, with each pair, or family, controlling their own territory. The species usually breed only once each year. Following mating, the male is known to become very aggressive and protective of the female, providing her with food during her pregnancy and lactation periods. Gestation usually lasts between 50 to 52 days. The typical litter is between one and four kits, with weaning taking place at around 70 days. When born, the kit’s ears are folded over and its eyes are closed. The eyes open at around ten days old, and the ears lift soon afterwards. The captive lifespan of a Fennec Fox has been recorded at up to 14 years.

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Fennec Fox Sibs Make Debut

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A Fennec Fox couple, at the Chattanooga Zoo, are proud parents to two new kits! The boy and girl were welcomed, January 23rd, by first time mother, ‘Sophie’, and father, ‘Barkley’. 

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The yet-to-be-named kits, and their mother, are in perfect health and adjusting very well. The duo recently made their public debut and can now be seen, on exhibit, with their parents, at the Zoo.

Father of the kits, Barkley, was paired with Sophie through the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, as a recommended breeding pair. Barkley arrived at the Chattanooga Zoo from the St. Louis Zoo in October 2014. The genetics that Sophie and Barkley hold are rare and highly valuable in the Zoo’s breeding pool. The breeding pair quickly became fond of each other, and they are now considered an SSP success story.

More awesome pics, below the fold!

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Fireball Fennec Fox at San Diego Zoo

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The Children’s Zoo exhibit, of San Diego Zoo, has a dynamic new inhabitant, a three-month-old Fennec Fox cub!

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SanDiegoFennecFox_3Photo Credits: Ion Moe (Photos 1,3,5); Deric Wagner (Photos 2,3)

 

The new ball of energy weighs just less than 2 pounds. He will remain in quarantine for a while, but will soon begin training for his new position as Animal Ambassador for his species at the San Diego Zoo. 

Animal Ambassadors serve an important role at the zoo. Their job is to help educate guests, especially children, by allowing them to get up close and learn even more about animals they wouldn’t normally have an opportunity with which to interact. This kind of intimate education encourages a vital interest and concern for species preservation.

Native to the Sahara of North Africa, the Fennec Fox is the smallest species of canid in the world. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

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Fennec Fox Digs Tunnel of Love

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For over 15 years, the keepers at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan, have eagerly hoped for zoo babies in their Fennec Fox enclosure.  Their patience has been rewarded, and they are excited to announce the birth of two new Fennec Fox cubs!

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Fennec fox_tel aviv_4Photo Credits: Tibor Jager

Four-year-old “Penny” and her mate, “Louis de Fennec”, also four-years-old, are the proud parents of the cubs.  Zookeepers observed the pair during their mating rituals and waited for the 50 day gestation period to occur.

During the gestation period, Penny and Louis spent their time digging burrows and tunnels, preparing a home for their growing family.  As the days passed, Penny became more and more aggressive, and all passersby were greeted by a chorus of thunderous barking. 

Finally, the much anticipated day arrived, and two tiny Fennec Fox cubs were born at the Safari Ramat Gan enclosure.  Penny hurried to hide the new babies in the burrows and in large pitchers that were purposefully placed in the enclosure by keepers.

Until recently, the Fennec Fox enclosure’s outer fence was covered with cloth to allow the young mother to feed her babies and bond with them in peace.  At present, keepers are gradually removing the covers and allowing Penny and her cubs to grow accustomed to the Safari’s visitors.

Native to North Africa, the Fennec Fox is also found in Asia.  They are currently not endangered and are listed “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List


More Fennec Foxes For Your Friday?

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We figured no one would complain if we shared additional photos of Chattanooga Zoo's Fennec Fox kits, so here goes! Here is the pair when they were a bit younger, and getting into all kinds of mischief!

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Did you know that the Fennec Fox is ZooBorns' unofficial mascot? The Fennec Fox graces the cover of our original all ages book, ZooBorns (below). Take a tour of the book on Amazon and get it in time for the holidays. With interesting animal facts and background stories on the featured babies, ZooBorns (Hardcover, 160 pages) illustrates the connections between zoo births and conservation initiatives in the wild. 10% of revenue from ZooBorns' book sales goes directly to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Conservation Endowment Fund.

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Get it now on Amazon!


Fennec Fox Sisters are Animal Ambassadors at Chattanooga Zoo

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Two Fennec Fox sisters were born at Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee! They have just been named Zahari, meaning blue in Arabic, and Zeiti, meaning green in Arabic. (To tell the sisters apart, they were each given a small spot of food coloring either blue or green on their backs.)

They were born on September 11, 2013 to first-time parents, mother Karoo and father Kalahari. The kits are incredibly active and are growing bigger by the day. They are very curious and playful and love to investigate new toys, sounds, and smells. When full grown, they will join the zoo’s animal ambassador and education programs, where they will play an important role in raising awareness about wildlife conservation.

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6 fennec foxPhoto credits: Chattanooga Zoo

Fennec Foxes (a ZooBorns favorite!) 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. 


Fennec Foxes are a ZooBorns Hit

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Time for a ZooBorns classic: Fennec Foxes! These little newborns were recently photographed at Everland Zoo in Seoul, Korea, by zoo photographer In Cheryl Kim. Last year, we crunched the numbers and found that a Fennec Fox photo by In Cheryl Kim was the number one cutest picture featured on our website, single-handedly bringing 500,000 new visitors to the ZooBorns website. (See those top 25 photos here.) The Fennec Fox has since become our mascot. To browse through our previous Fennec Fox posts— they are truly adorable—click here.

Fennec Foxes are endemic to the Sahara Desert, where their big ears let them detect insects dancing across the sand at night and fur lined paws protect them from scorching hot sand during the day. They are the smallest species of canid in the world. And there's good news: the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Fenne Fox as a species of Least Concern, meaning that they are common throughout their range and don't seem to be declining. 

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Fennec foxPhoto credits: In Cheryl Kim / Everland Zoo


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. 


Meet Little Moose, Rosamond Gifford Zoo's Newest Fennec Fox Kit

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County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney joined New York's Rosamond Gifford Zoo staff to introduce their newest Fennec Fox kit. Born on the afternoon of March 23 to parents Rhiona and Copper, he weighed approximately 40 grams (that's less than a hard-boiled egg). Regardless of his diminutive size, he was named Moose! Today, at just about two months old, he's half-grown at 455 grams. Mahoney said, “It’s great to see yet another testament of the zoo staffs’ dedication to furthering animal conservation and protecting endangered species.”

Ted Fox, Curator and Zoo Director siad, “Fennec Fox parents are very cautious and elusive during the kit rearing process. Due to their acute hearing and sensitivity, reproduction of Fennec Foxes in a zoological setting is a challenge. Hand-raising this kit will habituate him to close contact with humans, helping him to become a confident and well-adjusted adult.”

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Photo Credit: Photos 1,2: Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Photo 3: CNY News

Fennec Foxes are found throughout the deserts of North Africa and the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas. One of the smallest of canines, Fennec Foxes are well built for their natural habitat. Their nocturnal habits help them survive in the searing heat of the desert environment, and some physical adaptations help, as well. Their distinctive bat-like ears act like natural air conditioners, radiating heat away from their bodies, and allowing them to hear the movements of predators and prey over long distances. They have long, thick hair that insulates them during cold nights and protects them from the hot sun during the day. Even the bottoms of their feet are hairy, which acts as a barrier against the extremely hot sand in their native desert environment.

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