As I mentioned in the video, fennec foxes are native to a large span of the Sahara Desert in North Africa, where the environment is very sandy and arid. To mimic the conditions they would experience in the desert, our fennec fox habitat has a sandy substrate (ground cover).
The habitat is also designed to look like it’s underground. There are a couple of platforms and hidden spaces to give our foxes a sense of burrowing. In the wild, fennec foxes sleep in burrows during the day to avoid the heat. They usually dig their own burrows, which can include a series of tunnels reaching up to 32 feet long! The dens also have multiple entrances and exits to provide the fox with a safe escape if needed.
Fennec foxes are nocturnal, but visitors may catch the Zoo’s two resident foxes, Daisy and male Barkley, awake in the morning. They are curious, playful and incredibly smart animals. They also seem to enjoy engaging with their keepers more than many other animals. One role of being a keeper is to provide proper stimulation and support for each of our animals’ emotional and physical wellbeing. Husbandry training sessions are one of the best things we can offer the fennec foxes. These voluntary trainings give them greater choice and control over how they spend their time.