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The Arctic Foxes of Timbavati Wildlife Park

By Chris Taylor Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Greetings friends and welcome to the week of arctic foxes. Arctic Foxes are members of the canine family. This animal is an Arctic Circle kind of critter. It can be found in Iceland, Greenland, Northern Europe, Russia, Canada and Alaska.

It’s a small animal, I’d eyeball it to be just between a large cat and a small dog, so it’s “Smedium.” I mean it weighs in anywhere from 6.5 to 17 pounds and is usually about 2 and a half feet long or so, it’ll run from you before you run from it LOL. Because of their small size, surface area is reduced which causes a limited amount of heat loss which is how they are able to survive and actually stay warm during the winter cold.

Arctic Foxes have Two Distinct Qualities

The arctic fox has two distinct qualities that really set it apart from other members of the fox family. The first feature is the color changing fur. In the winter, an arctic foxes fur will turn ice white. It is a great camouflage job being performed here. In the summer it sheds and has a grey brownish fur.

The next distinct feature is fur on its paws. This enables it to walk on the snow without freezing its feet off. In short, it’s got like some reverse Ugg Boots on or something :).

The arctic fox is a carnivore; enjoying a diet of birds and their eggs, seal pups and fish. It has an excellent sense of smell as well as incredible hearing due to it’s wide front facing ears. Arctic foxes are also incredible tunnelers. Using these excellent senses and skills, when it does catch the scent of its prey it will dive into the snow headfirst to attack, usually crashing a den that an animal is held up in.

Arctic foxes are monogamous and mate for life. Mating season for these foxes  are usually around early September to early May, while the gestation period of the Arctic fox is around 55 days. Then will the mother give birth typically between late May and early June to 5 to 8 whelps.

The next time you’re in Timbavati Wildlife Park, stop in the Waterfalls Area and check out our Arctic Foxes.

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