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Meet Sven the Arctic Fox

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is now home to a new rescued Arctic fox named Sven. Guests can meet the three-year-old fox in the newly renovated fox habitat in the zoo’s Arctic Tundra area.

Sven the arctic fox sits on stump “We are delighted to provide a home to Sven and know our guests will fall in love with him,” said Malia Somerville, the zoo’s curator of marine mammals and birds.

State wildlife officials seized Sven in Oklahoma, where owning an Arctic fox is illegal. Before coming to Point Defiance Zoo, he was cared for at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility.

Somerville described Sven as curious and playful.

“He’s interested in exploring anything new and loves to dig,” said Somerville. “He also enjoys food-based enrichment items like feeder puzzles and trying new foods. His keepers recently offered him a clam juice ice treat, and he was very excited about it.”

“Sven will be a charismatic ambassador for Arctic foxes and other Arctic tundra species,” said Somerville.

New Digs

Zoo guests will notice enhancements to the Arctic fox habitat, including improved opportunities to see inside the exhibit. New cameras and internet access in the fox den will help keepers closely monitor Sven’s behavior as he adjusts to his new home.

“The renovations offer an enriched experience for Sven, his keepers, and our guests,” said Somerville.


Fun Fact

Visit in the summer, and you’ll see Sven with brown fur. But come winter, he will grow a lush, thick mantle of pure white. Arctic foxes live in the treeless tundra of Arctic Eurasia, North America, Greenland, and Iceland. While digging burrows and storing summer food to survive the chill winters, they still need extra warmth and camouflage against the snow. A white coat? Perfect.

Sven the arctic fox lying down
Sven the Arctic fox with his winter coat