August 24, 2015
Shares of Fitbit, the fitness wearables maker, opened 52 percent above their initial offering price this summer – putting the maker of health and fitness monitoring devices on track to rank among the top 10 stock market debuts of the year. But for the past several months at the Saint Louis Zoo, the news involving Fitbit is that some of our fennec foxes are wearing these devices around their necks. The Zoo’s Research Department has an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Grant to pay for research on the activities and physical responses of the foxes when they are used in educational programs. The charming fennec fox is a natural for these programs with its very large ears and small body. The Fitbit project is expected to help establish measures of well-being for these animals and to define personality traits that show which animals are most comfortable in serving as ambassadors for the species and which are too shy for that role. Full research results are expected in coming months. Perk your ears, and stay tuned.