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Wednesday Woof - Vulpes chama Edition

It's that time of the week, everyone. Here's some educational cute to get you through the rest of the week.

The Cape Fox (Vulpes chama) can be found on the southernmost tip of Africa, in most of the Cape provinces and also in Zimbabwe and Botswana. It lives in open grasslands, arid and semi-arid desert scrub, and fynbos.


Cape Foxes are small, measuring only 24 inches (61 cm) from nose to the base of the tail, with a long 16-inch tail (40 cm). They weigh only 11 pounds (5 Kg) at most when fully grown. The tips of their tails are always black, their undercoat is always a yellow-tan, and the topcoat can be either black or silver.

Cape Foxes are nocturnal animals but are most active just after dusk and just before dawn. They live in burrows or holes underground, or dense thickets for shelter. They can and do dig their own burrows, although they will customize abandoned burrows if they get the chance.


Being omnivores, Cape Foxes will eat plants, animals and invertebrates. They have a preference for insects and their larva as well as small mammals, and will also eat reptiles, eggs, birds and spiders. They tend to be quiet, and any vocalizations they make are typically soft whines or chirps - though when startled, they will let out a loud bark.


Cape Foxes mate for life, though until they find a mate they are solitary animals, preferring to forage on their own. Even after they're mated, the males and females of the pairs are often found alone, continuing in their habit of independent foraging. Female Cape Foxes will give birth to a litter of one to six kits after a gestation period of 51 to 53 days. Both parents help to raise the young, and the male fox will even provide for his mate for the first couple of weeks after she gives birth.


Cape Foxes are useful in helping to regulate the populations of rodents and other small mammals. While they are not currently considered a threatened species, they still face threats from predators, traps, rabies and distemper, and many of them lose their lives on the road after being struck by vehicles.

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