New arctic fox at Point Defiance Zoo will melt your heart


A 3-year-old arctic fox with a fluffy face that could melt your heart has joined the medley of animals at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The fox named Sven was rescued in Oklahoma, where it is illegal to own an arctic fox, and kept at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center before coming to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo.

The “curious and playful” Sven is an explorer who loves to dig, said Malia Somerville, the zoo’s curator of marine mammals and birds, in a statement.

Sven, the zoo’s lone fox, will be housed in the newly renovated fox habitat in the Arctic Tundra area, which is modeled after the grassy tundra near Point Hope, Alaska, officials said. The renovations give zoo guests better viewing access, and new cameras in the den will help zookeepers closely monitor Sven.

Sven is currently sporting brown fur, but once winter comes he’ll grow a thick mantle of white fur, zoo officials said.

Arctic foxes live in Arctic Eurasia, North America, Greenland and Iceland. The white coat offers winter camouflage as they dig burrows and store food to survive the winter, according to zoo officials.

Sven enjoys trying new foods and was especially excited recently while trying a clam juice treat, zoo officials said.


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