Bat-eared Fox [Otocyon megalotis]
The Bat-Eared Fox has a silver-gray fluffy coat, a black-tipped bushy tail with a black stripe on top. An outstanding feature is the enormous ears, which are black on the outside and white inside. The long, sharp muzzle is black on top and white underneath.
These smallish creatures are 300 mm high at the shoulders and have a length of 800 mm. Mass is about 3-5 kg.
The Bat-Eared Fox is mainly nocturnal, lying up during the day in burrows. Males guard the den where young are hidden, while the female forages. Preferred habitat is short-grass or open shrub country which affords good visibility for detecting predators, and a ready supply of food.
When fleeing from a predator Bat-Eared Foxes either lies up or, if possible, escapes to the cover of tall grass or thick bush.
The Bat-eared Fox is widespread in southern and east Africa. Occurs in arid and semi-arid areas. Recently also spread into the Cape Peninsula and towards Cape Agulhas. Apart from localized persecution by farmers, it is still common.