A skulk of foxes can be seen at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo.
“Skulk” is the term for a group of foxes. Eight little arctic foxes were born on May 24, to the surprise of zookeepers.
Zoo Director Nicole Benz said the kits are being kept in the animal isolation room, but where there is a camera. They can be viewed on a screen in the Raptor Center whenever the zoo is open.
Last week, veterinarians Dr. Mike Malone and Dr. Jackie Corbett examined them and reported all eight were in good health.
“Mom’s been taking good care of them,” Malone said. There are five girls and three boys.
Female arctic foxes give birth each spring to a large litter of up to 14 pups, according to National Geographic.
This was the first litter for Vixie, the zoo’s arctic fox, and her mate, Todd.
Benz said each kit was given a different colored collar so the staff can tell them apart. They have already been weaned and are eating meat.
In just a few weeks – once they are old enough to get all of their vaccinations – the foxes will all go to new homes. (One is going to a zoo in Omaha, Neb.) Benz said the zoo doesn’t have the exhibit space for large animals families.
For now, they are getting lots of attention from the zookeepers.
“We need to acclimate them to people,” Benz said. “Most (if not all) of them are going to facilities to be animal ambassadors, so we are trying to prepare them for their future jobs.” At least six of the eight foxes will become education animals, used in programs where they meet the public.
All of the kits were born with dark gray coats, like their parents. Arctic foxes have bright white coats in the winter, but shed the white for gray in the summer months.