Baby Fennec Fox Frantically Plays With A Cat Toy
The fennec is the world’s smallest fox, and fennec pups play with toys just like any normal dog puppy. It spins, bounces, and pounces. All skills it would use in the wild to secure wild, living food. Being omnivorous, the fennec is more of an opportunistic feeder, and will eat any small organic life that it can chew a piece of and digest. This might be small rodents, insects, perhaps reptiles, fruits, roots, and eggs. More interestingly, the fennec fox is the world’s smallest member of the dog family.
This little guy isn’t just a ball of energy, he’s a firecracker. You would think that a furry mammal coming from the Sahara Desert would be a little more sluggish. In fact, the fennec is a nocturnal denizen of the desert, so it waits until the sun goes down to hunt. The fennec lives for the night, when the pounding sun drives much of the desert into holes and dens. Those huge ears function like the radiators in your car, dissipating heat back into the atmosphere, thus cooling its blood and internal temperature. That long tail is almost like a kangaroo’s tail, giving it counterbalance.
For a guy who weighs less than a few pounds, he sure is fearless! As a popular exotic pet around the world, this pup has probably never encountered its natural prey, or experienced the life threatening fear of a natural predator. In its natural habitat the fennec does have to avoid a few predators. It is small enough for raptors to catch and eat (owls and eagles and the like), hyenas (remember, we’re talking about Africa), and even domesticated dogs. In its defense, the fennec is probably too small to resist large predators, but at least it can burrow into the desert sand to hide. This little guy on his blanket and chew toy may not have to worry about owls and hyenas, at least. Owners should keep an eye on the neighbors’ jealous pets!
Intelligence? The fennec fox has brains aplenty, and it even shows in it vigorous play. You can see the smallest canine is still a contender in the arena of smarts and personality. It sacrifices nothing to be an adorable, loving family member, too. These qualities probably have something to do with it being a social animal in the wild, probably similar to other dogs. Unfortunately, we can’t really draw conclusions about fennec fox family life in the wild, because there isn’t a lot we know about it, yet. We know wolf packs are highly organized, but if the fennec is anything like European and North American fox species, well, foxes tend to not form packs, but live and hunt alone. Other fox species tend to be loners, except when mating and pupping. Indeed, male foxes tend to be something of wanderers, extending their territories on the prowl for other girl foxes.
This little guy doesn’t have to worry about any of that. It only has to do one thing to make itself and everybody watching it happy, and that’s to play.