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Teaching Bat-eared Foxes New Behaviors

Frankie and George, sibling Bat Eared Foxes born 4-9-12, have very different personalities.  Frankie is a very smart girl that loves to train and learn new behaviors.  George, on the other hand, would much rather play and be scratched than learn new behaviors such as sit, down, look, crate, etc…  George loves most all people and is happy to explore and try new things.  Frankie is a bit shy and would prefer to let George test out new people and items first.

Frankie is calm when we are training and is so attentive.  She is thoughtful when you ask her to do a behavior, such as sit or down.  She tries really hard to please and get it right.

Frankie Sits

Frankie sits for Megan-Kate

George, on the other hand, certainly wants to please but will try anything to get the reward.  He is so excited about the food, he is not focused on the command. Sometimes when you ask him to do a behavior,  he will do all that he knows;  sit, down, run into his crate, run into his house, make a quick circle, and look at you like Tah Dah!  He is so good natured and fun to work with, but if you want to get something done right and well, Frankie is your girl!

George down

George does the "down" behavior and gives Megan-Kate his "Ta Dah" look

The two of them are ambassador animals and get to delight guests when they are out on their daily walks.  Some days they love to just hang out and watch the people come and go, while we have the privilege of telling people all about them.  Other days they are so excited to go for a walk, only a quick glimpse of their big ears and bushy tail can be seen as they speed past you, with their human in tow.  They love to eat termites in their native East African home, but here at the zoo they enjoy, beef, bananas, crickets, meal worms, egg, apple, and a kibble-like diet that can mimic the same proteins in a termite.  They have incredible hearing, and sense of smell too!

George

George looking for treats!

2 comments

1 Connie { 01.09.13 at 3:46 pm }

They are so cute!! I saw them in the nursery when they were small,
they sure have gotten big! What a fun job she has!!!

2 Jeff Reynolds { 01.10.13 at 6:13 pm }

Thanks for sharing this story. It’s interesting comparing wild canines to their tame counterparts — there’s often some interesting similarities. For example, I saw a feeding of the African Wild Dogs a while back, and when one finished his food he grabbed his metal bowl and started carrying it around.

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