The Red Fox is the largest of the true foxes and the most geographically spread of all carnivores. Despite its name there are many different colours within the species including melanistic and albino. Unlike other predators, it is able to adapt quickly to new environments and human presence. Hunting mainly during dusk and dawn, its main prey are small rodents, birds, eggs, amphibians and fruit but in urban areas will also raid dustbins for scraps.
Red Foxes will live in groups in shared territory, consisting of a male, one or two females and their cubs. Mating season for red foxes is during the winter, followed by a seven to eight week gestation period. The vixen will then give birth to between 1 and 10 cubs inside her den. For the following 5 weeks the cubs will stay in the den while being cared for by both the mum and dad. By 8 to 10 weeks the cubs are fully weaned and by 10 months they are sexually mature.
Latin name - Vulpes vulpes
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
IUCN Status - Least concern
Habitat - Woodlands, grasslands, meadows, deserts, forests, urban
Distribution - Arctic, Asia, Europe, Himalayas, India, Russia, North America
3 years in the wild. 10 to 12 years in captivity
Habitat loss, pesticides, poisoned prey, car collisions and hunting
Most tails are used for balance or to communicate but a fox’s tail or brush is also used to wrap round and keep the fox warm during the cold winters and they often tuck their noses in too!
Copper, our male fox, came to join us as a wild rescue when unfortunately he decided an airport was a suitable home! Copper can be found in the main building, usually found sunbathing on one of his many platforms.
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