Taronga Zoo has welcomed new residents into its growing wildlife community with the birth of three Fennec Fox kits, the first litter to be born to a new breeding pair from Europe.
The Fennec Fox infants were born on 19 December 2012 to Zinder, the male from Germany, and Kebilli, the female from Poland.
“All births are special for all of us here at the Zoo, but what makes these Fennec Kits extra special is that they are the first offspring to a new breeding couple from Europe. This means that these kits are not related to any of the Fennec Foxes here in Australia,” explained keeper Tamara Bell.
These adorable kits are introducing a new bloodline into the Fennec Fox population in the Australasian region and are therefore playing a vital role in expanding the species’ genetics. They are also boosting the species’ population, which dropped to only six throughout Australia prior to 2010.
The kits, which are becoming adventurous, have started to come out of their nest box and explore some parts of their exhibit.
“They are becoming braver and bolder every day,” said Tamara.
In February, the young Fennec Foxes are set to undergo their first veterinary health check where their gender will also be determined.
Commonly found in the deserts of Sahara and North Africa, Fennec Foxes are the smallest of the dog family. They have large ears that dissipate body heat and keep them cool, as well as hairy feet that they use to dig tunnels as deep as fifteen feet where they live and rear their kits.