Red Fox: What You Should Know

The red fox is the only fox in our forests. That’s why they call him “fox”. It’s imprecise, but it’s very common here.

The red fox can be found in almost the entire northern half of the world. The arctic fox is closely related to it. He lives in the far north, where there are no more trees. Also related is the desert fox in the Sahara. There are also other fox species in North America, Africa, and Asia.

Males are called males, and young animals are called puppies, just like dogs. A female, on the other hand, is a female. Red foxes grow to be the size and appearance of a smaller dog. They are reddish on top, and their fur is white on their stomachs and paws.

In biology, the red fox is an animal species. It belongs to the fox genus, the canine family, the carnivore order, and the mammalian class.

How do red foxes live?

Red foxes are not very picky and will eat almost anything they can get their hands on mice, chickens, ducks and geese, young rabbits and deer, but also earthworms. They also sneak into gardens and orchards to get fruit.

Red foxes also like to eat food that people throw away or leave behind. That is why they not only live in nature but increasingly also in the cities. There they feed themselves from rubbish bins and rubbish bags. They also do not disdain dog or cat food.

It used to be thought that red foxes were loners. Today we know that they live in family groups. There is a hierarchy in the group. They live in a burrow with a main tube as the entrance. This leads to an extended room, the cauldron. From there, several escape tubes lead to the outside. However, empty spaces under garden houses or crevices in the ground can also serve as housing.

Mating is in January or February. Then the female carries her four to six cubs in her belly for about seven weeks. At birth, each boy weighs about 100 grams, which is like a bar of chocolate. For the first four to six weeks they drink milk from their mother while the male provides food for his female. Then the young animals leave the den together with their mother. Next winter they are sexually mature themselves, so they can make their own young.

A red fox can live for about ten years. But many die when they are very young: they are run over by cars or shot while hunting. However, there are not very many animals that hunt foxes: these are mainly wolves and lynxes. Rarely does a young fox become prey to a white-tailed eagle or eagle owl?

Red foxes can get diseases and pass them on themselves, including rabies. It is also dangerous for humans. Therefore, people often lay out bait, for example, chicken heads. These baits contain a vaccine. The foxes then no longer get rabies and can therefore not infect other animals or even humans.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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