Fox

Blind, Orphaned Red Fox Kit at Buttonwood Park Zoo

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Buttonwood Park Zoo, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was contacted in late April by a local resident concerning a Red Fox kit. The kit’s mother had been struck by a car, leaving the juvenile an orphan. 

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4_11406216_10153373588649394_2092769012726369193_oPhoto Credits: Buttonwood Park Zoo

Zookeepers determined the kit was blind and could not be returned to the wild. The decision was made to raise the young fox and integrate her into the zoo’s Animal Ambassador Program. The Animal Ambassador Program is an educational tool provided to schools and the community as part of the zoo’s wildlife education initiatives.

Zoo staff have chosen the name Piper for the 9-week-old Red Fox, and she is currently living in the zoo’s veterinary hospital. Staff are working to acquaint Piper with various smells and sounds, as well as training her to walk on a leash.

The Red Fox is the largest of the true foxes and the most abundant member of the order Carnivora. They are found across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia.

Red Foxes are usually found together in pairs or small groups consisting of families, such as: a mated pair and their young, or a male with several females having kinship ties.  The young will remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits that are born.

The species feeds, primarily, on small rodents, but they will also target rabbits, game birds, reptiles, invertebrates and young ungulates. Fruits and vegetables are sometimes part of their diets, as well.

The Red Fox has a long history of association with humans. Because of their widespread distribution and somewhat unaffected population, the Red Fox is one of the more dominant fur-bearing animals harvested for the fur trade. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

More adorable pics, below the fold!

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Mulhouse Zoo Welcomes a Family of Arctic Foxes

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On April 24, an octet of Artic Fox kits was born at Mulhouse Zoo in France. While eight kits might seem like a lot, it isn't unusual for this species: Arctic Foxes may give birth to up to 20 offspring! However, they may only be able to raise two to four of their many kits successfully in the wild, depending on the availability of prey. The parents are also new arrivals at the zoo. Five-year-old mom Huslia and two-year-old father Koltik arrived from the Netherlands in March. The whole family can be seen in the zoo's new polar exhibit, which will soon house a family of Grey Owls and eventually, Polar Bears. (Not in the same enclosure, of course!) 

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Photo credits: Claude Thouvenin / Mulhouse Zoo

Arctic Foxes have extremely dense, warm fur that changes color seasonally, allowing them to camouflage themselves in a changing environment. During the winter, their fur is completely snow-white. Arctic Foxes hunt lemmings and other small prey, and have been known to follow Polar Bears for scraps of seal flesh. 

Historically overexploited for their fur, Arctic Foxes are currently protected in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Because they are now common and populations seem to be stable, Arctic Foxes are a species of Least Concern on the Red List of Threatened Species maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, global climate change is a cause for concern. Closely adapted to the extremes of the tundra, Arctic Foxes are one of few arctic animals that truly cannot survive in any other environment.


First Arctic Fox Cubs Born at Hellabrunn in Zoo's 102-year History

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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. 

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Photo Credit: Tierpark Hellabrunn

Read more about these cubs after the fold:

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Five Bat-eared Fox Kits are Zoo Prague's Newest Handful

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Prague Zoo has a new litter of Bat-eared foxes. The first weeks of their lives involve snuggling close to mom within a safe underground burrow, but the quintuplets are now venturing out into their exhibit. The adult foxes in the zoo's Bat-eared Fox family must patiently endure love bites and playful attacks from their young during these first weeks.

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Photo credit: Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo


A Pile of Arctic Fox Pups for Como Zoo

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On Saturday, May 20, Como Zoo's Arctic Fox mom, Aurora, gave birth to 9 pups! While that might sound like a lot, Arctic Foxes have been known to give birth to litters of 19 pups or more! 

Weighing-in between 1.8 and 2.2 ounces, the pups, also called kits, are resting with their mother and are not currently on public display. Zephyr, the papa, is proudly frolicking in his exhibit space. Pups are helpless and blind when first born. They nurse until they can eat solid food. Both parents care for the pups. 

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A full grown Arctic Fox is about 10 -16 inches long and weighs about 6-12 pounds. It has short legs and a long bushy tail that it uses like a fluffy scarf by wrapping it around itself when sleeping. Its long hair is white in the winter and "blue" or gray in the summer. Its head has a stubby muzzle, small ears, and large eyes. Its feet are lined with fur, which helps it conserve heat.

Arctic Fox Kit Litter at Como Zoo 4A pile of pups


Lulu and Roscoe Romp Through Milwaukee County Zoo

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Meet Lulu and Roscoe, the Milwaukee County Zoo's newest Fennec Fox kits. Born January 27th, the cubs recently made their public debut accompanied by mom, Daisy, and father, Duke. Fennec foxes' oversized ears act like natural air conditioners, radiating heat away from their bodies and cooling their blood in the light desert breeze. Their ears also help detect tasty prey at night, including small insects scurrying nearly-silently atop the sand.

Keepers describe the kits as very playful, enjoying their toys and rough-housing with each other. 

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Fennec_fox_kits_4-12-12 (22)Photo credits: Milwaukee County Zoo


Meet Tiny Pedro, The Orphaned Fox Cub

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Photo credits: Secret World Wildlife Rescue Center

An unsuspecting dog walker heard the tiny screams of this newborn Fox cub from within a thorny bramble bush in Weston-super-Mare, England and immediately notified Secret World Wildlife Rescue Center. Center Manager Sara Cowen was able to extract the tiny Fox from the thorn covered fox hole and rush him to an incubator on site. It is suspected that the cub's mother had to make a hasty escape from her den, leaving vulnerable Pedro behind. Cowen said, "He would almost certainly have died if we hadn’t found him so soon." Pedro is the smallest Fox ever to come into Secret World's care.


Bat-Eared Fox Kits Snuggle Up

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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.           

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Photo Credit: Jaimee Flinchbaugh

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!


New Arctic Fox Pups Arrive at Aquarium of the Pacific

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The Aquarium of the Pacific has welcomed two male six-week-old Arctic Fox pups that are now on view in the Aquarium’s Molina Animal Care Center. The two brothers are part of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s new Arctic & Antarctic: Our Polar Regions in Peril exhibition, which gives the public the opportunity to see polar animals up close while learning about what can be done to protect their habitats.

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Aquarium of the Pacific Artic Wolf Pup
Photo credits: Aquarium of the Pacific

Arctic fox babies are called either pups or kits. A litter usually has about seven kits but may contain up to fifteen. The Arctic fox is an incredibly resilient animal that can live in temperatures as low as -59° F and as warm as temperatures we experience in Southern California. They are found in the Arctic and alpine tundra regions, from coastal Alaska and Greenland to Scandinavia and Russia.

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