Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes
Did you know?: 

Red Foxes have a highly developed sense of hearing. They can hear a mouse squeak from 450 feet away!

At the EcoTarium

Socks the fox was born in the wild in 2010 and orphaned at the age of four weeks. As a result, he was rescued and raised by a wildlife rehabilitator before coming to live at the EcoTarium. Socks is imprinted on humans due to this close contact with people and therefore lacks the fox skills he needs to survive in the wild. You can visit Socks along the Wildlife Path (opposite the Nature Explore® Outdoor Exhibit). 

About Red Foxes

The Red Fox is a reddish-brown member of the dog family with cat-like agility and eyesight. They are a rusty-red color, except for a white throat and belly, and a white tip at the end of a bushy tail. Native to North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Red Foxes are adaptable and can flourish in many types of habitats ranging from rural to urban. Nocturnal animals with exceptional night vision and hearing, they spend the majority of the day in their den.

Despite being classified in the order Carnivora, Red Foxes are opportunistic omnivores -- they will eat whatever they can get, including earthworms, rabbits, birds, rodents, insects and even fruit. When food is abundant, Red Foxes will store food away in underground holes, called caches, to eat later. When they are hunting, foxes use sight and sound to locate prey before pouncing on it. 

Foxes maintain a territory year round, marking it with a musky odor. Within their territory, they find or dig dens; a main one for the winter and for raising their young, and several smaller ones to store food or hide in if needed. Foxes forage alone during the summer, but pair up each winter to mate and have a litter of 4 to 6 kits. The parents will raise the kits together until they reach about 8 weeks, at which point they leave the den.

The lifespan of the Red Fox is only about 18 months to 2 years in the wild, but up to 15 years in captivity. They have many dangerous predators in the wild, including coyote, lynx and humans, but are not endangered.