Photos of Penny the fox in rehabilitation training at the Blank Park Zoo

Local 'Dog in the Wild' Rehabilitation

by Hayley Schaefer

What do you think of when you hear people talk about wild dogs? Vicious? Crazy? Our newfound friend from the Blank Park Zoo might not be the first animal that comes to mind. Meet Penny, a 10-year-old red fox from California. 

Penny was abandoned by her family when she was a kit and luckily found by humans that were able to take care of and rehabilitate her. Since Penny was so young when she was found, they quickly realized she wouldn’t be able to live in the wild on her own. Similar to household dogs, Penny enjoys digging, playing with Kongs and eating her food out of syringes. She can also be very particular and has a very “my way or the highway” kind of attitude.

If Penny is from California, how does she do in our cold winters? Red foxes can survive in a temperature range that is pretty similar to humans. The coldest they tend to reside in is 10-13 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest temperature a red fox can live in is 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. You will find red foxes on every continent except for Antarctica. 

If you want to learn more about wild dogs, tune in to Dogs in the Wild: A Nature Miniseries premiering on Iowa PBS on Wednesday, February 8 at 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday. February 23 at 7 p.m. Check out the preview and join us for the program on air or on demand via the PBS App.