One of our newer residents of the San Diego Zoo: The fennec fox

Picture of the momentI go to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, or SeaWorld at least once a week. Sometimes I make all three, except when work gets in the way.

There is a “Children’s Zoo” at the San Diego Zoo, and I had always skipped it since I didn’t have any children and I really didn’t think that children were on exhibit. A couple of years ago I wandered into the Children’s Zoo just to look around. What a pleasant surprise! I’m not really sure why they call it the Children’s Zoo since it has some animals that are not seen in other parts of the Zoo.

One of our newer residents of the San Diego Zoo is the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda), and it happens to be located in the Children’s Zoo.

Fennec fox at the San Diego Zoo

Fennec fox at the San Diego Zoo

Fennec fox at the San Diego Zoo

My, what big ears he has!

Things of interest about the fennec fox:

    • Indigenous to the Sahara Desert in North Africa.
    • Its hearing is so sensitive (explains the big ears!) that it can hear its prey moving underground, a useful trait I suppose if you live in the Sahara Desert.
    • Its fur is valued by the native peoples of North Africa.
    • It is an exotic pet in some parts of the world.
    • It’s conservation status is listed as a species of “least concern.”
    • Not much is known of their social behaviour and basic ecology in the wild. I mean, would you want to spend all your time in the Sahara Desert studying them?
    • They are able to live without a source of water, getting all they need from the food they eat. That explains the Sahara Desert.
    • It is the national animal of Algeria.
    • Interestingly, although it is not considered domesticated, it can be kept in settings similar to those of your cat or dog.
    • As with all exotic pets, owning one varies by city, county, and/or state.
    • It is said to be the smallest species of Canid in the world, but I want to question that since the canids include domestic dogs, as well as foxes, wolves, jackals, and coyotes. The fennec fox weighs from 1½ to 3½ pounds, is 9-16 inches long, and stands about 8 inches tall. Aren’t there some dogs that small?

Find other posts in my Picture of the Moment series by clicking on the logo at the upper right.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

8 thoughts on “One of our newer residents of the San Diego Zoo: The fennec fox

  1. victoriaaphotography

    My immedidate comment is “what big ears you’ve got”. Thanks for sharing all that info too – I’ve never heard of this fox. I like his cute little face and lovely colour.


    1. Yasuhito

      Well, we also love the zoo in our family. When I first had beibas a wise women told me to take my kids to the zoo because it is such a wonderful multi-sensory experience. You can see, smell, hear & touch plants & animals. It’s a great learning place- for everyone from little beibas to really old beibas. That same wise lady usually gets our family a zoo pass, so we have been to several zoos in our travels. So, the only zoo that I know of that rivals San Diego (both in my opinion & in the polls) is the Columbus Zoo. It’s a Jack Hanna Zoo with about 7000 animals. (San Diego has just over 4000.) You don’t find more than that unless they are counting aquariums. Another great zoo is the National Zoo (DC). I also really like the Cleveland Zoo. It’s actually amazing to me how much better the zoos are in the east. (More taxes, I guess.) However, I do think the Oakland Zoo & SF Zoo are pretty good now they they have make some improvements. Here are some other good zoos you should check out if you get the chance: Pittsburgh, Philly, Bronx, Phoenix, Cincinnati. (I also hear the Indy Zoo is good, never been there.) Another zoo that I want to go to is the one in Chicago (called by another name). There are also some great aquariums & zoo like places, like Sea World, that are amazing. Have Fun!


    2. Suazo

      While some zoos are as this article ricsdebes, not all Zoos are that way. Zoos in the USA have gotten much better over the years. I use to think and still do that all animals should roam free. Unless we actually stop the killing, poaching, slaughter, capture, and other man-made problems for animals in the wild, zoos might be the only place you can see an animal in the future. These man-made problems still exist for animals in the wild because man is still greedy for money and power. Making any animal harm in the wild illegal doesn’t do any good unless you can prevent the corruption of officials and all those who are there to make sure the law is carried out. You also need to support the effort instead of passing the law and then expecting the public to donate all the money.


    1. Mark

      the zoo is my favorite!! san diego zoo is amnizag! when we still lived in st. george we’d make the trip down to san diego and hit up the zoo at least once a year. love it there! when we moved here (to st. louis) one of the first things we did was check out the zoo. it’s AMAZING! seriously the PERFECT family zoo! there are TONS of animals, it’s a wonderful layout, there’s a children’s zoo, an old fashioned carousel, you can pet sting rays, there’s a sea lion show, there’s a FUN penguin house (which is my kid’s favorite), there’s a train, AND the best part IT’S FREE!!! yep totally and 100% free. also, if you’re willing to walk a little extra distance, you can park for free too! i can’t talk highly enough of the st. louis zoo. amnizag! st. louis is all around amnizag. you’d never think of it as being a fun place, but it quickly has become one of my favorite cities, and i love living here. so if you’re ever in the midwest, make sure you check out the st. louis zoo (and st. louis, too!)p.s. i’ve been to the portland zoo as well, and really liked it too.


    2. Sevda

      Zoos are a lot of fun .. even if there is not much critter ‘interaction’. We go to Busch Gardens just so this old man can see the aimanls .. 🙂



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