By: Lina Broydo
Is this a sanctuary? Or is it a mini-zoo? Well, not quite either, yet. These are the sprawling grounds of the headquarters of Facebook, the world’s social networking giant in Menlo Park, California, where a mother fox and her three baby foxes have decided to settle down on the land of the most expensive real estate in the world.
With no questions asked and no need for Stanford or Harvard diplomas, these new members of the Facebook grounds-keeping team have camouflaged nicely into their new digs and are comfortable walking and living their day-to-day life among the thousands of employees who watch them at a distance from their windows or working environments.
From my e-communications with the Facebook spokesperson, I learned the rest of the story, “We’ve had foxes on campus for years. They were first spotted by Facebook when we were setting up for the initial move in, in December of 2011. There is currently one family of a mom and three babies, or ‘kits’ as baby foxes are called, that live under one of the decks in-between two buildings. The babies were first spotted around April time, and Alexis Smith decided to create a Facebook Page for photos of the foxes in April.”
And with the inaugural launching of their own Facebook page, naturally, the mother fox and her family are now official high-tech members of the Silicon Valley community. With thousands of “likes” on their Facebook page, “The FB Fox,” they proved that there’s no need to be rich and famous, just cute and cuddly.
Their page shows them strolling on the walkways by the company’s employees, as if they own the place, hanging out in a tree, relaxing and taking a nap with the sweetest foxy babies in the ecologically and naturally coiffured bushes, or playing fans by the basketball courts. And why not? After all, hanging out is the company’s way of creating future innovations. Isn’t this the lifestyle of brilliant minds in the valley of delights?
“The foxes are California grey foxes and they are native to the area. Our facilities team have been in contact with wildlife services and other local experts to learn how to best coexist with the foxes. Employees and other visitors to the campus are very respectful of the foxes, and do not try to feed or pet them,’’ the Facebook spokesperson went on. “We really enjoy having the foxes on campus, and sharing photos to the Facebook Page. We also share photos of the foxes on Instagram with the hashtag #fbfox”.
Among the fans who have given the foxes a thumbs up “like’’ is the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. And how did mama fox know to find the lodgings with the same F&F initials? Well, mothers always know best!