"We have two girls and one boy, and they are very healthy and a little bit fiesty," said Regina Mossotti, director of animal care and conservation for the center.
Swift foxes, the smallest canids in North America, once ranged from Texas to central Canada but were eradicated from 90 percent of that range, Mossotti said. Today, the swift fox has reclaimed about 40 percent of its historic range. The species as a whole is doing much better, Mossotti said, but the foxes remain endangered in the northern and southern ends of their territory.
Mossotti is especially excited about the birth of the kits because it marks the first time the center has seen a "breeding trio" raise their young in captivitiy, she said. "Out in the wild, we've seen trios where an additional mother has helped raise the kits," Mossotti said, and this is exactly what's happening at the center.
The Endangered Wolf Center has been closed for the past month to provide a calm, quiet environment for the mom and kits. The center reopens to the public on Sunday, June 17 for public tours.
To help support the kits, families can attend the Polo Charity Match and Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 16. The fundraiser includes a polo match, antique car show, Budweiser Clydesdales and all-you-can-eat food. The cost is $25 per carload. The polo match will be held at Blue Heron Farms Polo Club, 4020 Benne Road, Defiance, Mo., 63341.
For more information about tours, summer camps or the polo event, call 636-938-5900. The Endangered Wolf Center is located at 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka, Mo., 63025.
The swift fox kits are just a few days old. They were born May 11 at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka. Photo by Regina Mossotti, courtesy of Endangered Wolf Center.