Bosses at Dudley Zoo are excited to announce the arrival of four Arctic foxes – a species not held at the attractions for at least three decades.
Keepers fetched the four five-month-old brothers from Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland earlier this week.
The brothers, who’ve been named after the Peaky Blinders’ Shelby brothers – Tommy, Arthur, John and Finn – quickly set about exploring every nook and cranny of their new enclosure, which is situated next to the Sumatran tigers. Acting Team Leader Sam Grove, said:
“The Arctic foxes are a brilliant addition to the section. They seem to have lovely temperaments and it was great to see them exploring both the outdoor and indoor areas of their new enclosure and chasing each other across the climbing frame and through the tunnels.
"We’re sure they’re quickly going to become a firm favourite with our visitors.”
Arctic foxes are superbly adapted to live in their native Arctic tundra habitat as their thick fur is a brilliant white against the snowy backdrop and turns grey when the snow melts. It acts as excellent insulation which helps them cope with the extreme temperatures.
Although listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, Arctic foxes are one of the most vulnerable animals to global warming as they rely on the frozen sea to survive the winter as they look for food.
Warmer climates are also bringing the red fox to their areas, who are outcompeting their smaller cousins for food.