Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 21, 2014

Chattanooga Zoo welcomes Barkley the Fennec Fox

Barkley the Fennec Fox is on full-time display in the Chattanooga Zoo’s Deserts of the World exhibit. - (Photo provided)

The Chattanooga Zoo last week announced the arrival of the newest addition to its family, Barkley the Fennec Fox.

Barkley is a seven-month old Fennec Fox, born at the St. Louis Zoo on April 23, 2014. Barkley is a recommended breeding mate by the Fennec Fox Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the zoo’s resident Fennec Fox, Sophie.

The SSP focuses on the survival of multiple species by monitoring the placement of selected animals for breeding purposes. Although the Fennec Fox is not listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, scientists are concerned this species will soon face endangerment due to hunting and illegal sales.

Barkley came to the Chattanooga Zoo on Oct. 7 and was placed in quarantine. He was recently taken out of quarantine and is now getting acclimated to his new home in the Deserts of the World exhibit. After he is comfortable with this new home, the Chattanooga zoo will begin introducing Barkley with his new breeding mate.

Once Fennec Foxes find their breeding mate, they mate for life. In captivity, mating usually occurs between January and March for litters to be born between March and July. The Chattanooga Zoo’s goal is to have a smooth introduction period between the two foxes in hope for fennec fox kits in the spring.

“Sophie is a very special to all of us at the Chattanooga Zoo,” said President and CEO Darde Long. “It’s exciting to bring in a breeding mate for her, potentially see her have kits of her own, and watch her as a mother.”

Barkley will now be on full-time display in the Deserts of the World exhibit.

Source: Chattanooga Zoo