Fennec fox

Latin Name
Vulpes zerda




The fennec fox is a small, sand-colored fox weighing just about 3 pounds. Its small snout contrasts oversized ears.



Sahara Desert and North Africa


Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Fennec Fox Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Desert sands and brush


A nocturnal omnivore, the fennec fox hunts rodents, insects and birds—and browses desert grasses and fruits—under moonlight.

Life History

Though cute in appearance, male fennec foxes become aggressive during mating season. Females birth two–five young once a year, which they nurse in the den until the young are old enough to explore the desert.

Special Adaptations
  • Those huge ears help the fennec fox dissipate heat and detect sound from prey. They are sensitive enough to detect beetles walking across the sand.
  • Thick hair insulates them on cold nights and blocks the sun during the day.
  • Hairy feet serve as boots to protect from the elements.
  • To protect themselves from the extremes of their environment, fennec foxes live in underground dens.

Bonus Content

All Eyes...and Ears
Whether they’re spotting prey or seeking a mate, animals depend on these senses to interpret the world around them. We take a peek—and listen in—on some standout features in this Lincoln Park Zoo magazine feature.


ARKive Media

ARKive image - Fennec fox infantARKive video - Fennec fox - overviewARKive image - Fennec fox juveniles

ARKive is creating the ultimate multimedia guide to the world's endangered species.
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Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit