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Red Foxes Are Cool

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes linn

Red foxes are known to be cunning or sly, sneaky and most of the time dangerous; however, foxes don’t attack humans. Well, they do but it’s very rare. The only time a fox attacks a human is when foxes are rabid, or they are captured and handled but even then most foxes’ natural tendency is to flee rather than to fight. Foxes are intelligent animals associated with the spiritual clarity and understanding of shamans and healers. Foxes are also associated with magic, trickery, and transformation.

Diseases and parasites 

Foxes carry many parasites and diseases, some of which can be transferred to people. Anyone who comes in direct contact with foxe’s saliva from bites or from feeding them should immediately seek medical attention. While foxes are chicken thieves, they are on good terms with farmers currently because foxes can help control populations of rodents and rabbits, which can be harmful to crops. Foxes are one of the animals that can attract rabies, but it isn’t common.

Shelter, traits, and diet 

Red foxes are nocturnal, but they can be out at any time of the day whether it’s to find food, bask in the sun, or play. They live in an earthen den which is a hole dug into the ground with a hollowed-out chamber. At the end of the entrance tunnel is where the fox sleeps and the cubs are raised.

Foxes provide vermin control (preying on mice, rats, and pigeons) and run a liter clean-up service by eating discarded food. Foxes act more like cats, but they are closer relatives to dogs than they are cats. Foxes are extremely playful. They can make 40 different sounds, one of those sounds being a laugh. They have excellent hearing. Foxes prefer to be left alone and to leave humans alone; however, even if circumstances bring them closer to humans, a fox will take advantage of shelter and abundant food. Foxes do know their limitations which means they only prey on small mammals and animals, for example, squirrels, woodchucks, rabbits, birds and eggs, amphibians, reptiles, etc. They will also eat vegetation, fruits, nuts, insects, carrion, and garbage.

Fun facts 

  • Red foxes would be great triathletes (they can swim, jump over six feet, and run up to 31 mph).
  • Their tail is over half their body length.
  • Red foxes’ forepaws have five toes while their hind legs have four.
  • When afraid, red foxes grin.
  • They are the most widely spread carnivore.
  • Females are vixens, males are dog foxes, and young foxes are called cubs, pups, or kits.
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