The Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park recently sent animals to be kept at foreign zoos for the first time. These were the five cubs of fox couple Frosti and Flandra, which were born last spring. After undergoing medical examination and vaccination, one cub was sent to Norway and four to Sweden.
The purpose of the transport is to prevent inbreeding and support the Arctic fox stock in Scandinavia, where it has declined significantly, among other reasons because of the invasion of red foxes. It is believed that only around 50 wild Arctic foxes exist in Norway, a press release from the Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park states.
The Icelandic fox cubs now reside at Järvzoo in Sweden and the Kristiansand Zoo in Norway and have joined the Arctic foxes of Scandinavian breed which are kept there.
The Norwegian national broadcasting service NRK reported on the arrival of Keli in Kristiansand in early December and its release after quarantine last month.
It is hoped that Keli will find a “girlfriend” at the zoo and father many offspring.
Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are the only mammals native to Iceland. They are believed to have migrated to the country 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. The species can be found throughout the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.