The three-month-old male, weighing in at a scant 1.5 pounds, is in quarantine at the San Diego Zoo. Soon, the fox will begin training to become an "animal ambassador" for the species, meaning he'll participate in educational programs.

Fennec foxes (Vulpes zerda) are native to the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. While they're not particularly endangered ("Least Concern" according to the IUCN), they are heavily traded as exotic pets and are sought after for their fur. By being an animal ambassador, this little guy could help people understand that Fennec foxes are wild animals: not pets, and not future fur coats.

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Those big ears, by the way? They help the nocturnal animals keep cool in the hot African desert.