This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden received its newest members, a pair of male and female bat-eared foxes, following a local animal rescue by the WildCare Foundation.

Officials say the bat-eared fox pair had been privately owned and not given the proper care and welfare they needed to thrive, therefore the Zoo was contacted about providing a forever home for this African savanna species.

The male bat-eared fox is approximately 2-years-old and the female is approximately 9-years-old.

“Since arriving at the Zoo, the bat-eared foxes have been in quarantine at the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital and are now adjusting to their new habitat near Lion Overlook,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo curator of carnivores. “It’s been several years since bat-eared foxes have been a part of the Zoo’s animal family, so we’re really thrilled to provide them a permanent home.”

Native to the savannas and scrublands of eastern and southern Africa, bat-eared foxes are generally nocturnal carnivores who have a diet of insects (termites and ants) and mice.

They live in mating pairs with their young and have an average life span of up to 13 years in human care. They are known for their enormous ears, which can grow to over five-inches-long.

Their large ears not only provide a very good sense of hearing, but also work to regulate their body temperature.

According to the International Union for Conservation Nature, bat-eared foxes are listed as a species of least concern, meaning their population in the wild is not currently under threat.