Arctic foxes live only 3 to 6 years in the wild tundra. In captivity however they can live up to 10 years— more than three times as long as those live in the wild. This is quite possibly due to the availability of food and lack of predation. It also shows that arctic foxes do well in captivity. Like most other arctic mammals, arctic fox’s pups leave the den after 45 days. During their stay in dens, they are highly vulnerable to potential predators. Furthermore, if a mother could not feed properly to her pups, she then prefers one over the other. As a result, the one that gets little food is more likely to die before its average lifespan.
In captivity, the fox’s pups are raised not only by their mother—they are fed by breeders or zoologists. They make sure that every pup gets the food it deserves. As it turns out, the pups not only grow up quickly—they breed in safer environment compared to those in the wild. Even so, adult foxes need not necessarily to hunt rodents as they do in the arctic tundra. All these factors affect the overall lifespan of arctic foxes in captivity.
Arctic Fox: Encyclopædia Britannica, September 05, 2017, The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica.