Pet of the Day

December 28, 2001

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Baby, the Pet of the Day
Name: Baby
Age: Four years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Fennec Fox
Home: North Carolina, USA
   Hi everyone! My name is Baby. I am a fennec fox, which is the smallest species of fox in the world. My ancestors originated from the deserts in Africa and that is why I have such big ears. That is the way that they got rid of excess body heat and I have a lot of fur on the bottom of my feet because that is how they protected their little pads from the hot desert sand! I am spoiled rotten, but mommy and daddy say that I am suppose to be spoiled because I am special! They say that I am so special because I bring so much joy into their lives! I like to cuddle with them in bed and I give them kisses. I often sleep on their heads and keep them warm! (even in the summer--hee hee) I am always excited when they come home and run out to meet them with a 'whole body wiggle' and a wagging tail and funny little squeaky noises! This always seems to make them happy because they smile real big and get on the floor to pet me! They even share their cereal and tomato soup with me! (yum-yum) So, I'm not sure why they think that I am so special--I'm just a little fox--but maybe it is just because I make them smile and warm their hearts!

    I bought Baby from a breeder. There are more breeders around now than there were then. I must stress that these babies that are sold as pets are bottle raised and tamed, however, they are still a wild animal with inborn instincts. Anyone considering one as a pet should make sure that they do a lot of research and know exactly what they are getting and make sure that they buy from a good reliable breeder. Fennec foxes are not cats or dogs that have been domesticated over many thousands of years. They do make delightful pets if you know what you are getting and are willing to accept them for what they are.

    The fennec fox originates from the deserts in Africa. Adults weigh somewhere between three and five pounds, with males usually weighing more than females. Permit requirements vary from state to state and anyone interested would need to check with their state wildlife commission. Please note that in most states it is illegal to keep any wild animal that is native to that state in captivity and trying to capture a wild animal to keep as a pet is not only dangerous for the animal, but also the person. There is a high rate of rabies in wild animals; foxes being at the top of the list. Many wild animals will die in captivity, simply from the stress. Even if a wild animal is captured as a baby and bottle raised, while it may be a loving and affectionate pet at first, most will become somewhat aggressive and "wild" once they reach puberty and breeding season approaches. However, it may not have learned the skills that will be required to find food and shelter in the wild and will not survive when the humans release it into the wild because of the aggressive behavior.

    Any exotic pet should be acquired from a reputable breeder and only after extensive research on the needs and habits of the animal has been done. I just cannot express that point strongly enough. I know that there a lot of people that don't think past the first thought of, "That would be a cool pet", and it is a bad situation for both human and animal in the long run! All that said, Baby is a doll! (But I am a bit biased!)

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