The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is celebrating the birth of four fennec fox kits in the past six months. All four kits were born to fennec fox parents, Malika (mom) and Jelani (dad) at The Living Desert’s Desert Carnivore Conservation Center: a behind-the-scenes research, breeding, and conservation facility.
Stanley, a male kit, was born on April 8th, 2022. At the time, Malika was a first-time mom, and this was the first fennec fox birth at The Living Desert in eight years, since Jelani, Stanley’s father, was born.
Then, when Stanely was just over three months old, on July 21st, 2022, Malkia gave birth to a set of triplets: two males and one female. Like all fennec foxes, both mom and dad were involved in caring for both litters.
While it is not unusual for a second litter to be born soon after a litter with a single kit, it is uncommon. These exciting additions are not only important to The Living Desert– but to the species as a whole! These births were the result of a Species Survival Plan (SSP®) recommendation to ensure genetic diversity and sustainability of fennec fox in the human care population.
The Living Desert has a long history of success with small desert animals and fills a unique niche to support their preservation. Each of the animals at this center have their own specific conservation needs and, at this facility, we are able to learn more about them: including studying their behavior, reproductive habits, and physiology in order to better support these species in their native ranges.