So given their irresistible good looks and smarts, you may be wondering if you can have one of these fuzzy friends to cuddle. The answer is, you can — but you probably shouldn't. "It is legal to own fennec foxes in some states as pets," Flynn says. "It's important to check all states requirements and laws regarding exotic pets. Though some states may allow the ownership of a fennec fox, it is important to keep in mind the needs and natural adaptations it has before purchasing."
"The L.A. zoo does not encourage anyone to have a fennec fox as a pet because they are still a wild animal unlike a dog or cat, which are domesticated," Behar says. "Fennec foxes need special care, housing, and a diet that the average person usually cannot provide. Also, having an animal like the Fennec fox as a pet continues to encourage the illegal wildlife trade."
Flynn says that while it may be legal in some states, keeping a fennec fox in a domestic setting means taking the wild animal out of its natural, arid climate. "Like many other animals within the exotic pet trade, animals like fennec foxes are purchased by uninformed owners that aren't fully aware of the social, nutritional, and specialty care needed to maintain these wild animals," he says. "The impulsive decisions of buying an exotic pet can lead to the owner being unable to care for the animal over time adequately. It's important to check all states requirements and laws regarding exotic pets. Though some states may allow the ownership of a fennec fox, it is important to keep in mind the needs and natural adaptations it has before purchasing."
While fennec foxes are commonly trapped for sale in the domestic pet trade, their main predators are certain large varieties of African owl, and they are classified as an animal of "least concern" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.