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The fennec or sand fox: all you need to know about this wild canine

We would readily confuse him with the fox. It must be said that the fennec looks like it in every way. With the difference that it is smaller and that it evolves in places with harsh climates, including deserts. Fennec is not very suitable for domestic life and moreover, in many countries, it is forbidden to adopt it.

The fennec, a wild animal with a remarkable appearance

Belonging to the canidae family, the fennec, also called the sand fox, is immediately distinguished by its small size. It is for this reason that it is also called pocket fox. It measures between 20 and 40 cm for a weight of 1.5 kg on average. The fennec is part of the very closed circle of the smallest canines in the world. Another of its peculiarities relates to its long and large ears which are essential for listening and locating its prey during its hunting activities. As the fennec lives in very hot regions, it has legs with very hairy pads that protect it from the hot sand. We will not fail to point out its sand-colored dress to which it owes its name. Her belly reveals whiter tones.

The desert, home of fennec

The fennec lives mainly in the deserts of northern Africa, particularly in the Sahara, in countries such as Algeria. Moreover, this animal is the mascot of the Algerian national football team. He also lives in Saudi Arabia. It can also evolve in the steppes. The fennec lives in burrows which can be up to 10 meters deep. This allows him to escape the scorching desert temperatures. It can live up to 12 years in the wild.

What does the fennec eat?

The fennec feeds on insects such as ground beetles and grasshoppers and also delights in gerbils and other rodents. He is a great lover of lizards, eggs and even birds. As he lives in the desert, he does not need a lot of water. Of course, it happens that it drinks in the rare oases that it can find, but its food ensures it the hydration which it needs.

How does fennec reproduce?

Pairs of fennecs are formed for life. Generally, mating takes place from January to February. The female gives birth after two months of gestation. At the time of their birth, babies are blind and it takes about ten days before they can see. Gradually, they also acquire their large ears which are their particularity. A period of 60 days is necessary before complete weaning. It is the father who takes care of feeding his family during this time.

What is the character and behavior of fennec?

A nocturnal hunter, the fennec is swift, very cunning and endowed with highly developed senses. Its hearing is similar to that of bats and works by echolocation. When it comes time to hunt, it performs spectacular jumps 60 cm high and one meter long.

Is it possible to domesticate a fennec?

Like the gray parrots of Gabon or the green iguanas, European legislation prohibits the trade in fennec. It is a difficult animal to domesticate since it needs to evolve in harsh climatic conditions and since it lives at night, it can end up disturbing the inhabitants of the house.

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