Five Arctic Fox Cubs Born at Highland Wildlife Park

Five adorable Arctic fox cubs have been born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Highland Wildlife Park. Keepers at the wildlife conservation charity say the new arrivals are doing well and have slowly started exploring their surroundings under the watchful eyes of parents Sarah and Jack.

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Meet Sven The Arctic Fox

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA is now home to a new rescued Arctic fox named Sven. Guests can meet the three-year-old fox in the newly renovated fox habitat in the zoo’s Arctic Tundra area.

“We are delighted to provide a home to Sven and know our guests will fall in love with him,” said Malia Somerville, the zoo’s curator of marine mammals and birds.

State wildlife officials seized Sven in Oklahoma, where owning an Arctic fox is illegal. Before coming to Point Defiance Zoo, he was cared for at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility.


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Bat-eared Fox Kits Stealing Hearts at Zoo Krefeld

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A trio of month-old Bat-eared Fox kits are stealing hearts at Germany’s Zoo Krefeld since they emerged from their den in early June.

It’s been ten years since Bat-eared Foxes were born at Zoo Krefeld, and the arrival of a new female in February revived the breeding program.

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Csm_ZooKR_Loeffelhundnachwuchs_Vera_Gorissen_de12e412d1Photo Credits: Hella Hallmann (1, 2, 4), Stjepan Ivekovic (3), Zoo Krefeld (5) 

Very few European zoos hold these charismatic African foxes. Bat-eared Foxes differ from other members of the Canid family in many ways. Instead of 34 differentiated teeth, they have nearly 50 needle-sharp teeth, which are used to chew their favorite food – insects (mainly termites). Their large ears help them locate insects hiding below ground and help cool the body as blood passes through the ears’ thin skin.  

Bat-eared Foxes live on the grasslands and savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. They are not under significant threat at this time, though changing land use patterns could pose a threat in the future.


Taronga Celebrates Birth from World's Smallest Fox

Fennec Fox Kit 4_Photo by Paul FahyTaronga Zoo is celebrating a birth from the world’s smallest Fox species, with keepers monitoring the progress of a tiny Fennec Fox kit.

The curious little kit was born on December 3, but has just started to venture outside its nest box.

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Fennec Fox Kit 5_Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credit:  Paul Fahy

“The little one is beginning to spend a lot more time outdoors. We’re seeing it playing, rolling around on its back and chasing after mum and dad,” said keeper Deb Price.

Keepers have not yet named or confirmed the sex of the kit, which is the first Fennec Fox born at Taronga since 2013. The infant is the seventh for experienced parents Kebili and Zinder, who have successfully raised two previous litters.

“The parents are doing a fantastic job again, with Zinder proving to be a particularly attentive dad. We’ve seen him filling up his mouth with food and then racing back to deliver it to the kit,” said Deb.

Born with its eyes closed and famously gigantic ears folded over, the kit has gone from being completely reliant on its parents to learning how to forage for food on its own.

The kit weighed in at just over one pound this week and has begun to sample solid foods such as crickets, mealworms, and mice.  Adults weigh up to 3.5 pounds.

The smallest of all the world’s Foxes, the Fennec Fox has enormous batlike ears that can grow to more than six inches in length.  These oversized ears help the Foxes to dissipate heat and keep cool in the blazing desert sun of northern Africa.  They also have hairy feet that enable them to run on hot, loose sand and dig tunnels where they live and rear their kits.   At this time, the wild Fennec Fox population is stable.

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Blind, Orphaned Red Fox Kit at Buttonwood Park Zoo


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. 



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


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!) 



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


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.





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