Wednesday, April 13 2016 17:18 EEST
Chinese fans of Disney animated smash hit Zootopia are flocking to buy rare fennec foxes, despite the miniature African species being unsuitable as pets
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Zootopia fans in China would like to purchase rare fennec foxes. The fennec fox or fennec is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat. Its hearing is sensitive enough to sense prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds.

It is prohibited to sell and buy fennec foxes, as well as other rare animals, in China. Nevertheless, the price for a fox amounts to $3000 on the black market.

The representative of the company which imports and exports rare animals in Liaoning Province said that the number of inquiries about fennec foxes sharply increased after the release of Zootopia.

Fennec foxes are currently not threatened with extinction, but scientists say that the growth of fennec imports to China may reduce the population of the animals.

Some buyers are already trying to pass them back to the seller due to the fact that fennec foxes are not adapted to life in captivity and after discovering they do not make great pets: The foxes are unsociable, cannot be house-trained and make a lot of noise at night. 

Zootopia (also known as Zootropolis) is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated buddy cop comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures.

The film details an extraordinary partnership between a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist as they uncover a conspiracy that involves the disappearance of predator civilians within a mammalian utopia.

This amazing animation opened to record-breaking box office success in several countries. With a worldwide gross of $852 million, it is currently the highest grossing film of 2016.

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