AN AFRICAN fennec fox was caught in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, between Ronda and Marbella. The environmental office in Ronda assured it will be cared for in a zoo or an exotic species centre.
The fennec fox is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its unusually large ears are its most distinctive feature. They serve to dissipate heat. The fennec is the smallest species of canid in the world. Its coat, ears and kidney functions have adapted to a high-temperature, low-water, desert environment. Its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. Its diet is mainly insects, small mammals, and birds. Its main predators are the African varieties of eagle owl. They live in dens in the sand. In some parts of the world, the animal is considered an exotic pet. The fennec lives up to 14 years in captivity.