What has happened to this magnificent animal, unique in the world? Too many unknowns, and no answers. He was a hybrid of a dog and a fox, but he made a big mistake: coming into contact with humans.
In 2021, a strange animal arrived at the Veterinary Hospital of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, after being hit by the car. He looked like a dog, but his ears were too big and pointed, and he behaved like a fox..
The animal did not let any humans approach it, it rejected the dog food and meat that the keepers gave it. Instead, He devoured the small live mice that he hunted in the patio where he was confined.. It was not typical behavior for a dog.
When he recovered from the accident, he was taken to the Mantenedouro São Braz center to give him a home.
Dogxim, a hybrid of dog and fox
The veterinarians who examined him could not determine which animal species he belonged to. So they decided to do a DNA analysis.
The analysis determined that it was a hybrid of dog and fox, the first known. Specifically, his father was a domestic dog, and his mother was a pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus). The hybrid was a female.
This unique animal had 76 chromosomes. Dogs have 78 and foxes have 74 chromosomes.
According to caregiver Flavia Ferrari in The Telegraph, who took care of the animal while it was at the veterinary hospital, the dog-fox hybrid, also called dogxim or graxorra, He was in perfect health when he was delivered to the Mantenedouro São Braz centeras this video certifies:
But then, something strange happened.
Last August, the veterinarians who carried out the animal’s DNA analysis published the study with all the data. This is how the case reached the press.
The media began to ask the Mantenedouro São Braz center for photos and videos of the animal, and it was then that the center recognized that… The fox-dog hybrid had died six months ago.. But they did not respond to questions about the cause of his death.
It is a strange case, because when they received the dogxim they already knew that it was a unique animal in the world. If he really died, they should have informed the experts, or the authorities.
The Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure (SEMA) of Brazil has announced an investigation. The supposed death of this dog-fox mix is a great loss to science, and the end of a unique lineage. Although most hybrid animals are sterile, who knows if they could have sired any offspring. Thus ends the short life of the only known hybrid of dog and fox.