After relentless hours of phone calls, emails, and traveling, Wolf Park is delighted to welcome two little fox kits, Kestrel and Lark. These two brothers, initially identified as Shy Guy and Brave Boy respectively, are settling right into their indoor nursery until they are ready to venture out in the newly built Grey Haven.
Grey Haven is our newest enclosure designed specifically for grey foxes with walkways high above the ground, hideaway boxes, special plants to nibble on, and beautiful young trees that mark the resting spots of our beloved foxes who have passed.
This new enclosure would not have been possible without the wonderful work of Matt Stallcup and Evan McGeorge from Total Habitat. Countless hours from Matt and Evan along with volunteers, interns, and staff helped make this a physical reality. However, we couldn’t have broken ground without your support! Members, visitors, and supporters from all over the world donated in support of this project. Additionally, to anyone who has purchased a Grey Haven shirt, thank you as you too have supported Grey Haven.
At the end of the day, it is quite vital to have an enclosure such as Grey Haven, as it caters to the needs of the grey fox. Grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) are an arboreal species that are often found 15-20ft up in the tree canopy. They are able to reach these heights because of an adaptation allowing them to rotate their wrists similar to primates. With the current fox enclosure, we did not have this height for grey foxes. The red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Joker and Scarlette, have no complaints though! They now have the opportunity to expand their home once their neighbor moves into Grey Haven.
Our current grey fox, Hunter, has had the opportunity to explore Grey Haven, but has not officially moved in quite yet. We expect she will settle in with some more time to explore. In the meantime, our kits’ human parents, interns Christopher Lile and Megan Horning, along with Wolf Park’s Fox Curator Kimber Hendrix, are doting on them with every little bit of attention they need. This point in their development is very important for us to convey that the humans who work at Wolf Park are friends.
The young canids we work with have what we call a “fear period” where they begin seeing, hearing, and smelling new things for the first time. You might think new things are exciting, but many wild animals are neophobic, meaning they are scared of new things. With this in mind, Kestrel and Lark have their human parents with them 24/7 and will be off exhibit until they are ready.
Kestrel and Lark were originally born in Oklahoma and are currently about 5 weeks old. We are very specific about the animals we welcome into Wolf Park and typically work with kits between 6-10 days old. With the unfortunate loss of two of our grey foxes, Ifa and Gypsum, we did not want Hunter to be without grey fox friends. Although Kestrel and Lark are older, they had enough socialization with cars, children, adults, and other human factors that we were able to welcome them with loving arms, paws, and wagging tails. Shout out to Kimber, Christopher, and Megan for the 24+ hours driving round trip from Indiana to Oklahoma and the 15+ hours visit with Kestrel and Lark to ensure they were suitable for life at Wolf Park. Without them, we wouldn’t be making this announcement.
Your continued support means the world to us. If you would like to purchase either a Grey Haven shirt or a Joker & Scarlette Red Fox shirt, you may do so on our online store. All fox shirt funds will support our foxes! You may also donate specifically to the foxes here by selecting an amount and typing in the notes you want it to go to foxes. Kestrel and Lark will be up for sponsorships soon although it will be some time before we welcome sponsors in with them. Our fox sponsorships for adults are available here and for 5-17-year-olds available here. We also love our volunteers. If you would like to volunteer for all things Wolf Park, check out our application and available orientation dates here.
Stay tuned! We will be making semi-regular updates as we expect these boys to be eager in exploring their surroundings!