Foxes join Cango clan

TWO adorable baby bat-eared foxes are now part of the Cango Wildlife Ranch family, where they have been stealing hearts all round with their giant ears and tiny fluffy bodies.

The pups, named Becky and Bandit by the staff, were rescued after a local farmer discovered them on his land.

Not knowing how to care for the tiny creatures, the farmer brought them to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, about 3km north of Oudtshoorn, in the Klein Karoo.

"The farmer was building a dam which collapsed and shortly afterwards he saw the pups floating in a stream of water," the ranch's tourism manager Tammy Moult said.

"He did his best to locate the den and find the mother, but could not find anything. He soon realised the pups had to be cared for and brought them to us," she said. The pups were estimated to be about two weeks old at the time.

They were immediately cleaned up and placed in an incubator for warmth, with staff providing round-the-clock care and feeding them every three hours.

"Every day for four weeks they travelled to and from work with our zoological manager, Narinda Pentz, who cared for them day and night," Moult said

Pentz received some valuable help from her eight-year-old labrador Zoey.

The dog became playmate and guardian to the pups as they took full advantage of her loving and placid nature, Mouton chuckled.

"Zoey's naps were regularly interrupted by the pups, especially at 3am when they were in full adventure mode.

"Becky, who was initially quite timid, has become an outgoing explorer while Bandit can 'out-dig' her any day of the week.

"Both foxes are doing superbly and we are absolutely and undeniably in love with them."

The ranch, which was founded as a crocodile show farm in the 1970s, has become a popular tourist attraction, with visitors from around the world flocking there 365 days a year.

The Cango Wildlife Ranch is situated in Baron van Reede Street. Call (044)272-5593 for more information.