Zoo Spotlight: Fennec Fox

Fennec fox in the wild by Christophe André, Wikimedia Creative Commons

Fennec Fox

Vulpes zerda

Status: Least Concern

Size: 8″ tall, 2-3 pounds

Habitat: Desert, Marine Coastal/Supratidal

At the Zoo: Behind the scenes in the Education Building (see more info below)

One of the least known animals at the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the fennec fox lives behind the scenes as part of our Education Animal Collection. Last year a number of guests had the opportunity to see one of our fennec foxes at the Wild Encounters program, but with the cold temperatures at this time of year the best chance of seeing one is at our Fox Encounter Program in the El Paso Water Discovery Education Center adjacent to the Wildlife Amphitheater on Saturdays at 2:30pm.

The fox you are most likely see at the encounter program is Moose, a 10-year-old male fox born at the Rosamond Park Zoo on March 23, 2013. Fennec foxes are the smallest foxes in the world. They live mainly in the Sahara Desert region of north Africa. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature there are no major threats to their survival. Human activities are increasing in many parts of the ecoregion including new roads and oil field development. Many foxes have no fear of humans resulting in foxes being killed by vehicles.

In the wild fennec foxes are probably the only carnivore in the Sahara Desert able to survive without freely available water getting all the water they need from the food they eat including  insects like grasshoppers and locusts, small rodents, lizards, birds and their eggs.

cover by Michael Wong

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