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Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Vulpes zerda
Phylum: 
Chordata
Species class: 
Mammalia
Order: 
Carnivora
Family: 
Canidae
Genus: 
Vulpes
Species: 
zerda
Status: 
Least Concern
Population Trend: 
Stable
Quick Facts

Life Span: 10-14 years

Size: Body length 24-41cms; tail length 18-31cms; ears 15cms

Weight: 1-1.5kgs

Fun Facts

The Fennec Fox is the smallest canid in the world!

Pest control: Fennec Foxes are important small hunters, helping to control the populations of several pests, including rodents and locusts. Consequently, the foxes are extremely important to the balance of their ecosystems.

Fur: Their thick fur acts as an insulator against the heat of the day and the cool of the night. Even the bottom of their feet is covered in fur to stop them getting burnt on the hot sand. This fur also helps to provide traction in the loose sand. The sandy colouration of their fur helps reflect heat and provide camouflage.

Water Conservation: They have very efficient kidneys, which restrict water loss, assisting them to survive long periods without water. They are able to obtain most of their water from their food.

Amazing Ears: Fennec Foxes will use their large ears (which can be half as long as their bodies!) to hear insects – they can even hear them moving beneath the surface of the desert sand! Their ears also act like massive air conditioners strapped to their heads. The blood flows through their ears and cools in the breeze.

Fearless - despite their small size they will even kill and eat venomous snakes.

Heat Seekers: They love the warmth and have even been seen by keepers sitting under their heat lamp on a hot summer's day!

Known for its small size and distinctively large ears, the Fennec Fox is a nocturnal canid found in North Africa.

At Taronga:

At Taronga Zoo we have 2 adult Fennec Foxes (and 3 new kits). These include a male named Zinder (D.O.B. 01/04/09) from Ausberg Zoo in Germany, and a female named Kebilli (D.O.B. 13/06/09) from Krakow Zoo in Poland. Zinder and Kebilli have travelled a long distance to introduce new bloodlines into the Australasian breeding program.

Three Fennec Fox infants were born on 19 December 2012 to Zinder and Kebilli. They are the first offspring to the new breeding couple from Europe, which means that these kits are not related to any of the Fennec Foxes in Australia. They will receive a health check in February, which is also when the gender of each kit will be confirmed.

Region: 
Source: 
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Year assessed: 
2008