Tower of FENNEC FOXES - by request
©Joachim S. Müller
The fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is unusually large ears. The name “fennec” comes from the Arabic word for fox, and the species name zerda has a Greek origin that refers to its habitat. The fennec is the smallest species of canid in the world; coat, ears and kidney functions have adapted to a high-temperature, low-water, desert environment.
When hunting, large eared foxes such as the fennec, or the bat-eared fox, can seem to stare at the ground while they rotate their heads from side to side to pinpoint the location of prey, either underground or hidden above ground.
Fennec Fox and The Little Prince
The French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry made a reference, in a letter written to his sister Didi from Cape Juby in 1918, to his raising a fennec that he adored. Saint-Exupéry also mentioned encountering a fennec when wandering in the Sahara after his plane crashed there in 1935. The fennecs he had known in these two contexts are considered to have inspired the fox character in Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince”.
Arabian Sand Cats (Kittens)