Since 2018, three young Arctic foxes are comfortably settled in the Domain of the Caves of Han. The male foxes are called Jackons and Tjarek, while the female fox is called Speedy.
The three Canidae were born on 10 May 2018 in the Lille Zoo and arrived in Han-sur-Lesse on 27 September of the same year. These cute foxes are very playful and inquisitive! Ever since they arrived, they spend most of their time either exploring their new living area or, in carefree play while watching the visitors. The young foxes’ pen is located below the magnificent treetop walkway, winding its way through the treetops. You will find it along the Walking Trail, in the upper areas of the Park.
A different type of fox
The Arctic fox weighs about 5 kg and its height varies; it can be anything from 50 centimetres up to 1 metre tall! The Arctic fox has many things in common with its cousin, the red fox, but is also quite different: the Arctic fox has smaller ears and a shorter muzzle.
Thanks to its thick white fur, the Arctic fox can survive in extremely cold areas, but the fur also allows it to acclimatize to warmer temperatures. During the winter, its white fur enables it to blend in with its snowy surroundings. As the seasons change, the Arctic fox changes the colour of its coat. In the summer, its fur can darken until it’s a lush dark brown!
When it’s sleeping, its tail covers its muzzle and paws. The Arctic fox is also blessed with a particularly acute hearing as well as an extremely well developed sense of smell: it can locate prey hidden under a blanket of snow. Its sense of smell is not the only remarkable thing about the Arctix fox; it also has incredible stamina and can travel hundreds of kilometres in search of food!
Nowadays the Arctic fox can be found all over the Arctic and in Scandinavia. These Canidea usually live in a pack, although some foxes prefer to be solitary. Each time the female fox gives birth, a litter of 8 to 11 fox cubs - who are blind at birth – are born. The fox cubs are raised by both the female and male fox.
Global warming tends to reduce the Arctic fox’s natural habitat and favours the appearance of the red fox, a potential predator of the polar fox, which constitutes a genuine threat to the species!