First Wild Weekend

Wild Weekend is Coming May 7, 8 and 9

What it a wild weekend? Wild weekends are jam packed full of additional programming and animal meet and greets.

Educational Talks

Reptile Keeper Talk – Come face to face with some of our scaly, cold blooded friends at the barnyard porch.

Talk times: 11:30 & 1:30

Camel Keeper Talk – Have oodles of fun learning about Tootles our dromedary camel at the barnyard.

Talk times: 9:30 & 12:45

Encounters and Experiences

Tiger Feed in the preserve! Feed a tiger safely! Purchase tickets in gift store $10. Times 11:30 & 3:30 limited tickets available!

Alligator and Snake photo opportunity after reptile keeper talk. Hold Lurch the Burmese python or Florida our American alligator. $5 to hold Lurch or Florida.

Camel Feed after the camel keeper talk. Safely feed Tootles some of his favorite treats. Don’t forget t to snap a photo of this awesome experience! $5 per feed

The foxes got a huge upgrade!

Our resident foxes got a huge upgrade recently. On your next visit to the preserve be sure to check out the new diggs.

Foxes are omnivorous mammals that are light on their feet. They are often mistaken for other members of the Canidae family, which include jackals, wolves, and dogs. They stand out from their relatives because of their long, thin legs, lithe frame, pointed nose, and bushy tail.

These animals are very social and live flexible lives. They are found all over the world — in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa — and call a wide range of terrains their home. They also eat a greatly varied diet.

Size

Most foxes are around the same size as medium-sized dogs. Since foxes are smaller mammals, they are also quite light. They can weigh as little as 1.5 lbs. (680 grams) and as much as 24 lbs. (11 kg). The fennec fox is the smallest living fox and doesn’t get any bigger than a cat — about 9 inches (23 centimeters) and weighing 2.2 to 3.3 lbs. (1 to 1.5 kilograms), according to National Geographic. Other species can grow to 34 inches (86 cm) from their head to their flanks. Their tails can add an additional 12 to 22 inches (30 to 56 cm) to their length.

Habitat

Foxes usually live in forested areas, though they are also found in mountains, grasslands and deserts. They make their homes by digging burrows in the ground. These burrows, also called dens, provide a cool area to sleep, a good location to store food and a safe place to have their pups. Burrows are dug-out tunnels that have rooms for the fox and its family to live in. The burrows also have several exits so that they can flee if a predator enters the burrow.

Habits

Foxes are very social creatures that live in packs. A group of foxes are called a leash, skulk or earth, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. They are also called packs. No matter what you call them, foxes like to stick near family members. A pack may include older siblings, foxes of breeding age, mates and mothers. Male foxes are known as dogs, tods or reynards, and females are called vixens.

These mammals like to hunt at night and are nocturnal. This means that they sleep during the day. This can change, though, depending on where the fox pack lives. If they live in a place where they feel safe, a fox pack may hunt during the daytime, according to National Parks and Wildlife Service of Ireland.

Foxes have great eyesight. They can see just as well as a cat, in fact. Their eyes are much like a cat’s thanks to their vertically slit pupils. Foxes are also very fast. They can run up to 45 mph (72 km/h). That is almost as fast as the blackbuck antelope, one of the world’s fastest animals.

Diet

Foxes are omnivores. This means that they eat meat and vegetation. A fox’s diet can consist of small animals, such as lizards, voles, rats, mice, rabbits and hares. They round out their diet with birds, fruits and bugs, according to the Smithsonian. Foxes that live near the ocean eat fish and crabs, as well. If they have trouble finding food, a fox will have no problem raiding trash cans to find scraps. Foxes can eat up to several pounds of food a day. What they don’t eat, they often bury under leaves or snow for later.

Conservation Status

Most fox species are not endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The union’s Red List of Threatened Species includes island gray foxes (near threatened), Sechuran foxes (near threatened) and Darwin’s fox (threatened). It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 mature Darwin’s foxes in their habitat in Chile. Domestic dog attacks and associated diseases are the main threats, the IUCN said.

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