With their unusually large ears and cuddly appearance, the Fennec foxes are a big crowd favorite at the Palm Beach Zoo. Next time you visit, you’ll see four new babies on exhibit.
The four Fennec fox kits – all male – were born on February 6. They weighed less than a pound each when they were born. The quadruplets are the second litter of Mom, Heidi and Dad, Swiper.
Zoo keepers first noticed the new kits when they were about four weeks old and started venturing out of the dens in their exhibit. Now at seven weeks old, the Zoo’s clinical veterinarian will examine the kits for the first time and administer their first round of immunizations.
The couple’s first litter – one female and four males – was born on March 3, 2012. Two of the males have been relocated to the Bronx Zoo; the female has been moved to a facility in California. This “sharing” of animals is part of the Palm Beach Zoo’s Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Fennec foxes.
The Species Survival Plan Program is run under the auspices of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The mission of an SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. Palm Beach Zoo currently takes part in more than 60 SSP Programs.