We all like to see cute fury animals looking cute and innocent, and Colchester Zoo has several, probably the most popular being the Meerkats. However, there is another which spends their time curled up in their enclosure drawing in the crowds. These are the Fennec Foxes, of which there are two and hopefully they will produce cute little cubs in the coming months.
These small carnivorous mammals live in sandy deserts, in small groups of around 10, unlike other species of fox which are more solitary in their society. Fennec foxes are opportunistic eaters and have the ability to go without water for long periods, similar to other desert dwelling animals.
Their diet is varied spending their time foraging for plants but also eat rodents, eggs, reptiles, and insects. Their hearing is excellent and are able to hear their prey at a distance or even underground.
These foxes are small in size around 14 to 16 inches, weighing between two and three pounds, with a life span of 14 years, a little longer in captivity. As their appearance is appealing, they are favourites of the captive pet trade, hunted by natives for their fur. Although their numbers in the wild are good at the moment, this may not be the case in the future.
Although these foxes are nocturnal, when they are active their daytime is spent in their burrow resting away from the desert heat. Next time you visit the zoo be sure to take a look at these animals, assuming they are visible.