Bat-eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis
The name Bat-eared Fox comes from the Greek 'Otus' (ear) and 'Cyon' (dog).
Bat-eared Foxes are small, Jackal-like animals, with slender legs, long, sharp-looking muzzles and covered in a silver-grey hair. Their most distinguishing feature are their extra-large ears, which are dark on the outside, with a white fringe on the inside. A thick bushy tail, with a strip of black on the top. Their legs are also black. They moult once a year, to refresh their coats, which otherwise get very worn. Longevity
Gestation, for the Bat-eared Fox is 2 - 2.5 months. After which time, 2 - 4 (sometimes up to 6) pups are dropped, each weighing approximately 125gms. This is usually timed to coincide with the rainy season, when food is abundant and it is the male that guards the litter. They grow to around 2' long (excl. tail) and its ears are approximately 5" long. Bat-eared Foxes live for up to 13 years in captivity, but a much shorter life in the wild. Predators
A Bat-eared Fox is like having a hamburger, to a Lion
. Amimals down to the size of a Jackal
are all predators, while Birds-of-Prey are partial to thair young pups. It's not unusual for a whole den to be dug up and all pups taken. Behaviour
Bat-eared Foxes can be both nocturnal and diurnal, depending on the temperature of the season and disturbance levels. Generally diurnal, if their feeding is disturbed, or its simply too hot during the day, they will come out at night to feed. When foraging, they appear to wander aimlessly, ears pointed to the ground, before stopping to feed.
They are found in open savanna, or savanna with short scrub. Sometimes seen in lightly wooded areas. Seen all over Kenya, except for around the Lake Victoria basin.
A pair of Bat-eared Foxes mate for life and are often seen with offspring from the previous season, so groups can number up to 6.
Bat-eared Foxes do dig their own burrows, but usually take over termite mounds, aardvark burrows etc; Diet
Bat-eared Foxes mostly eat small vertebrates & insects, with a penchant for Harvester Termites. Occasionally, small snakes are taken, along with rodents and small reptiles. They also eat wild berries & fruit from time to time. Photographs
Photographed in Kenya's Masai Mara, Olare Orok Conservancy and Ol Ari Nyiro Ranch, owned by Kuki Gallman; a 100,000 acre spread in Laikipia.