Fennec Fox

(Vulpes zerda)




Facts about this animal

The fennec is a very small fox with extra-large ears and a pin-pointed muzzle.


The fennec's head-body length is 35-40 cm, tail length 15-25 cm, height and shoulder 20 cm, and the weight is 1-1.5 kgs. The ears are 10-15 cm long, the eyes big and black, and there is a very small black node pad at the end of the very pointed muzzle. The fur is very soft and uniformly cream-coloured with whitish underparts. The paws are furred.


The fennec is nocturnal, avoiding the worst heat of the desert by living in burrows during the day. During the night, it will emerge and hunt for rodents, such as spiny mice, gerbils or jerboas, insects, spiders, scorpions, snakes, lizards, and birds. It also eats bird eggs, berries and leaves, and gets most of its water from the food.

Did you know?
That the Fennec fox is the smallest canid in the world?


Name (Scientific) Vulpes zerda
Name (English) Fennec Fox
Name (French) Fennec
Name (German) Fennek, W├╝stenfuchs
Name (Spanish) Fenec, Zorro Feneco
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Tim Parkinson



Range Northern Africa to northern Sinai
Habitat Sandy deserts and semi-deserts
Wild population Unknown, but this species is still commonly trapped and sold commercially in northern Africa (IUCN Red list, 2004).
Zoo population 178 reported to ISIS (2006)

In the Zoo

Fennec Fox


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 82 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Kathrin Gaisser

Why do zoos keep this animal

The fennec is probably not threateened in the wild. Zoos keep it primarily for educational purposes to demonstrate the adaptation of the foxes to a desert climate. This is particularly valuable, if also Arctic fox and red fox are exhibited, allowing for a direct comparison of the morphological differences having evolved in response to the different environmental conditions.