Shy Wolf Sanctuary | Rajah & Phoenix
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Rajah & Phoenix

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Rajah & Phoenix

We had to say goodbye to sweet Rajah on 06/06/2015 as she joined her sister Phoenix, who went before her the end of April. They were going on 16 years old, when Fennecs generally live to about 12 years of age in captivity.


Fennec foxes are a small nocturnal animal usually found in the Sahara of North Africa. Their most distinctive feature are the unusually large ears, which serve to dissipate heat as well as being very acute for hearing. The name comes from the Arabic word (fanak), which means fox, and the species name Zerda comes from the Greek word Xeros which means dry, referring to the fox’s habitat. The Fennec is the smallest species of canid in the world. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments. In addition, its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds. The average life-span of a Fennec Fox is 14 – 15 years.

In December 2012, the Shy Wolf Sanctuary received two female Fennec Foxes from a man in Fort Myers, FL, who was moving away to California and could not care for them any longer. One was named Rajah and the other is named Phoenix. Being almost identical, one way to tell them apart is that one of them, Rajah, has a small spot on her nose.

These two lovely girls were about 12 years old when they arrived. We think they were related to our original foxes Ricky & Joey. They were both in reasonably good condition, though did have some minor problems, matted hair, somewhat dirty and Phoenix had a bad hind leg. After a visit to the vet for shots and to fix Phoenix’s leg they came back to the sanctuary for a nice hot bath and shampoo – which they did not like too much! Now they live in a wonderful enclosure and enjoy the good life at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary.