At the Bioparco di Roma four fennecs were born, the smallest canids in the world and with the largest ears, in proportion to the body size.

The fennec also known as the desert fox is a small cany that inhabits the desert of North Africa. Although some scholars believe it is the only species of the genus Fennecus, many believe it belongs to the genus Vulpes. Wikipedia

The puppies were born about two weeks ago inside the burrow dug under the ground by their parents, weigh about 200 grams and it is still not possible to establish their sex.

The parents are Aisha, born in 2014 at the Jihlava Zoo (Czech Republic) and Biko, born in 2015 at the Attica Zoo, Athens.

The arrival of the parents took place within the scope of the activity of the EAZA (European Zoo Association and Aquariums) of which the Biopark is a member and for this species has established a Studbook, a register in which all the data of the specimens are included fennec present in the European zoos that has the objective of monitoring the population present in captivity in view of future conservation projects.

Curiosity – One of the threats to some populations of fennec is the growing anthropogenic activity that is causing its decline. In the local markets of some North African countries, for example, young fennecs are captured to be sold illegally in the markets as pets or are on display for tourists who take souvenir photos. Adults are killed for fur, used essentially by local populations.


With its 60 cm of length and 1 kg of weight, the fennec is the smallest existing canine but in proportion its ears, 10 cm long, are the largest of the whole family. The ears make up 20% of the body surface and act as true thermoregulatory panels to disperse excess heat. It is widespread in the sandy deserts and semi-desert areas of North Africa, from Western Sahara to Egypt. Territorial and monogamous, the couple lives with their offspring forming a family unit that usually does not exceed ten individuals. Omnivorous, it feeds mainly on grasshoppers but also on other insects, lizards and geckos, birds, eggs, small rodents, fruits and tubers.

Credit photo: Massimiliano Di Giovanni

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