The world’s first known dog-fox hybrid known as a ‘dogxim’ is discovered in Brazil after being hit by a car and taken to the vet
- The unusual ‘doxim’ had large pointy ears, thick wiry fur and a long thin snout
- Scientists believe that the hybrid animal may have been able to reproduce
The first ever confirmed dog-fox hybrid, called a ‘dogxim’, has been found in Brazil.
The animal was discovered after being hit by a car and taken to a vets in 2021, but staff couldn’t work out if the young female was a dog, or a fox.
Scientists from local universities performed extensive genetic tests and determined she was half-half – her mother was a pampas fox and her father was a domestic dog.
They observed she had an unusual mix of dog and fox characteristics, with large pointy ears, thick wiry fur and a long thin snout.
Although she was very wary of humans, she did warm to them and even allowed herself to be petted.
She refused food but ate live rodents, she barked like a dog and sometimes played with toys, but moved like a fox.
She died earlier this year from unknown causes, but scientists believe she may have been able to reproduce.
Flávia Ferrari, a conservationist that worked with the animal during her recovery, told The Telegraph: ‘She was an amazing animal, really a hybrid between a pampas fox and a dog.
‘It was not as docile as a dog, but it also lacked the aggressiveness expected of a wild canid when handled.
‘She had a shy and cautious personality, generally preferring to stay away from people. Over the time she was hospitalised for treatment, I believe she started to feel safer.’
It is thought to be the first ever recorded instance of a fox and dog breeding.
Genetic tests revealed she had 76 chromosones – a combination of the fox’s 74 and dog’s 78.
The team published their findings in the journal Animals and believe there may be more dogxims in the wild.
Domestic dogs have interbred before with wild species including coyotes, wolves and dingos.