I have a 1-year old female fennec fox which I brought home from the wild when she was only a few days old. I was not around for most of this time so she was kept isolated from people.

Now I'm in the situation where she hides from me, and will bite at me if I try to touch her. She'll take food from my hand, but will then run away with it to eat it in hiding. Normally I feed her at night, not by hand, and not special food (mostly chicken meat, dates, and similar home cooked food).

She isn't raised in a cage and has been fed well. I haven't taken her to a vet or training specialist yet, I was hoping this would be something that I could improve on my own without the need for one.

Is there anything that I can do myself to get her to be more friendly towards me?

  • 1
    Have you read web sites devoted to Fennec Foxes? If so, you'll note that they never become 'tame' from the standpoint of calm.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 14:37
  • @CGCampbell yes I have read some articles and they all say the same as you have pointed
    – Chebhou
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 14:40
  • what is giving me hope is there are plenty of YouTube videos where ordinary people are feeding and playing with their foxes
    – Chebhou
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 17:06
  • I suspect that this is both a selection bias (hostile animals don't make cute videos) and a great deal of dedicated time and patience.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 23:27
  • @keshlam certinaly there will be no magical easy way , I'm looking for at least an experience with key notes to work with, thanks for keeping up with the question appreciated : )
    – Chebhou
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


Most wild animals can never really be "tamed", which is one reason they aren't kept as pets and one reason keeping them often requires a special license showing that you have the necessary training.

Also note that even animals which have become used to living with people can take a long time to decide a particular person is trustworthy. I've known cats who started out feral and learned to live with people but only on their own terms.

I don't know enough about fennecs to give you any specific advice. I'd suggest contacting a zoo, unless you can find someone who had worked with them successfully.

The best I can suggest is lots of patience, lots of time (potentially years) and even then the best you can hope for may be tolerance. I wish I had more encouraging advice, but I don't. If this was easy, we'd see more pet foxes.


The first few moths were the MOST important. Even one that was bottle raised but rehomed after 6 months has trouble.

Start only feeding her from your hand though you could leave some food for over night or other long periods due to their high metabolism but make it what she likes least when you have to leave something out.

You may need to wear heavy duty gloves but pick her up and hold her several times a day every day and, if she will take it, feed her something while holding, but if not give her something after. Slowly over time increase how long you hold her. This is a bit stressful but it is honestly the best way was she will learn eventually that biting does not get her out of being handled so should eventually stop. I know of several fennecs successfully tamed this way.

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