Baby Foxes Check Into Facebook

On the eve of Facebook’s one-year IPO anniversary, several employees were buzzing about one topic on campus.

No, it wasn’t about revenue. It was about the Facebook foxes.

The foxes, which include a mother and her three babies, live in Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., campus. They have a Facebook page, dubbed “FB Fox,” and a growing following: 8,172 “likes.” That group, which is far larger than Facebook’s official payroll of 4,900 employees, includes CEO Mark Zuckerberg—one of the earliest fans of the page.

The page, created on April 23 by Alexis Smith, a member of Facebook’s marketing team, chronicles the adventures of the foxes.

“It seemed like everyone was posting their own fox photos and I wanted a place where we could share all the photos together and honor the fox,” says Smith.

Employees began to spot the foxes near campus last year; recently, the family moved into a zen garden between the product and sales buildings. According to Ms. Smith, it is widely believed that the mother fox, who some call “Firefox” after the Internet browser, and a father fox moved under a deck in the zen garden to give birth to their babies, or kits. The company’s facilities team is in contact with wildlife services to make sure employees are taking the appropriate measures to protect the foxes, says Ms. Smith.

So far, more than four dozen photos, Instagram pictures and videos of the creatures have been submitted by Facebook’s employees. Several pictures have garnered a thousand or more “likes,” including one of an adult fox napping on a mat, which Mr. Zuckerberg noted was “by far the best photo of the fox.” There are also photos of the foxes on basketball courts, in the brush, in the zen garden, and crossing the main walkway. In late April, photos of the baby foxes began to appear. With babies on board, employees were reminded to respect the foxes and not feed the family.

On Friday, employees were particularly excited to “like” and share a recent video submitted by John Mendiola, a security systems engineer, which showed the trio of baby foxes frolicking near some flowers and jumping over each other.

“They are usually snuggling – a lot of napping,” says Ms. Smith.

While Ms. Smith was a bit surprised by the popularity of “FB Fox,” she largely credits Mr. Zuckerberg for the surge. After the CEO’s “like” on day one, the site attracted some 3,000 fans in 12 hours (many were Facebook employees).


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