'Clever' marble foxes make debut at Kamloops wildlife park
'They probably are one of the more challenging things to keep enclosed,' says care manager
The B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, B.C., has introduced two marble foxes to its collection of Canadian creatures.
The park unveiled the pair, named Raven and McCoy, to visitors on Monday. The park has had the foxes since December, but for the past several months staff have been training them and ensuring their pen is equipped to handle their sly nature.
"I love foxes. They are really interactive species," said animal care manager Tracy Reynolds.
"At first they were pretty shy. It's been amazing how much they have changed since they came here."
Marble foxes come from the red fox family, bred by humans to give them their white and grey colouring. Reynolds said they were bred in captivity for the fur trade.
"This is a coloration that has been sort of bred into them from selective breeding," she said.
Raven and McCoy came to Kamloops from a facility in Quebec where they were seized by the local humane society.
They're estimated to be about four years old. It is unknown whether they are brother and sister.
Their pen has previously hosted deer fawns and potbelly pigs, so park staff had to put in new barriers and electric wire to prevent the foxes from climbing the fence.
"Foxes are clever and they probably are one of the more challenging things to keep enclosed," Reynolds said.
The park was one of many wildlife facilities that faced serious financial struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but since it reopened on June 1, executive director Glenn Grant said 4,300 guests have stopped by.
He said having these new foxes for the local community and for tourists to visit will boost that business further.
"There's been a lot of people that have been curious about them," he said.
"They're very active. I think they're going to be a great addition to our collection and a lot of folks are going to really enjoy hanging out and learning a little bit about them."
With files from Doug Herbert