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Arctic fox

Did you know?

Vulpes lagopus

Arctic foxes can definitely deal with cold weather! They have thick, heavy tails for extra cover, and grow thicker fur in winter. And in a blizzard they can tunnel under the snow to keep warm.

Discover Arctic fox

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
With thick fur that turns white in winter to camouflage in snow, Arctic foxes live in treeless tundra throughout the Arctic: Eurasia, North America, Greenland and Iceland. Find ours here in the Arctic Tundra.
Arctic Tundra
Meet the Keeper
Find out more.
Our keepers give unscheduled talks daily, to avoid congestion. Bring your questions and find out cool facts.
Eating
(and predators!)
Arctic foxes eat small mammals (especially lemmings), insects, berries, carrion, marine invertebrates, sea birds and fish.
Their predators include polar bears, wolves, golden eagles, grizzly bears and humans.
Leaving home early
Mating for life.
Arctic foxes mate for life. Females give birth in spring to a litter of 5-10 pups, depending on food availability.
Pups are raised in the parents’ burrow and are independent after about 6 months.
A skulk of foxes
Storing for winter.
A group of Arctic foxes is called a “skulk” or a “leash”, a social group that include a mating pair, their litter and a few helper females.
They dig burrows with multiple entrances, and store extra food during summer to eat in winter.

Protecting Arctic animals

A changing climate.

THE THREAT: Scarcity of prey, human hunting and pollution from oil and gas drilling are the main threats to the Arctic fox. Climate change, caused by human reliance on fossil fuels, is also radically changing the Arctic habitat.

TAKE ACTION: We can help slow climate change – and our reliance on oil and gas – by reducing our carbon footprint. Driving and idling less, lowering your thermostat and using LED bulbs are good ways to begin.

Arctic Stories

Farewell, Boris

TACOMA, Wash. – Boris, an elderly polar bear believed to be the oldest male of his species on the planet, was humanely euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Sept. 1 following a significant decline in his health. He was 34, a one-time circus bear who found a stable home in Tacoma, where he … Continued

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National Zookeeper Week

National Zookeeper Week takes place July 19-25 this year. The week is devoted to sharing the passion and dedication of keepers. Even though Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was temporarily closed to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19, the keepers never took a pause. They are a dedicated group of people who work … Continued

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Splish, splash! Zoo animals that beat the heat

We all love summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s no doubt that some days get pretty hot. Humans are pretty creative in finding ways to beat the heat – splashing, shade, cool clothes – and our Zoo animals do it too! Muskox Muskoxen are adapted for living above the Arctic Circle and nibbling for … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Love our fox? Then look out for our muskoxen, which roam the big tundra habitat nearby.