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foxWinterRedA fox is an animal of small to medium-sized canids, characterized by possessing a long, narrow snout, and a bushy tail, or brush. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe has led to their appearance in both popular culture and folklore

In the wild foxes can live for up to 10 years, but most foxes only live for 2 to 3 years due to hunting, road accidents and diseases. Foxes are generally smaller than other members of the family Canidae such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Dogs (male foxes) weigh on average, 5.9 kilograms (13 lb) and vixens (female foxes) weigh less, at 5.2 kilograms (11.5 lb). Fox-like features typically include an acute muzzle (a “fox face”) and bushy tail.

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Unlike many canines foxes are not usually pack animals. Typically, they live in small family groups, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents). Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries.

Foxes are normally extremely wary of humans and are not usually kept as indoor pets; however, the silver fox was successfully domesticated in Russia after a 45 year selective breeding program. This selective breeding also resulted in physical and behavioral traits appearing that are frequently seen in domestic cats, dogs, and other animals: pigmentation changes, floppy ears, and curly tails. [4] Certain people have domesticated the fennec fox, red fox, arctic fox, and many other fox breeds, however.

Diet

The diet of foxes is largely made up of invertebrates. However, it also includes rodents, rabbits and other small mammals, reptiles, (such as snakes), amphibians, grasses, berries, fruit, fish, birds, eggs, and all other kinds of small animals. Many species are generalist predators, but some (such as the crab-eating fox) are more specialist. Most species of foxes generally consume around 1 kg of food every day. Foxes cache excess food, burying it for later consumption, usually under leaves, snow, or soil.

fox eating 4

Foxes are readily found in cities and cultivated areas and (depending upon species) seem to adapt reasonably well to human presence.

Foxes have been successfully employed to control pests on fruit farms while leaving the fruit intact.[5]

Relationships with humans

Fox attacks on humans are not common but have been reported. In November 2008 an incident in Arizona, USA was reported in which a jogger was attacked and bitten by a rabid fox.[6]

Fox hunting

Fox hunting is a controversial sport that originated in the United Kingdom in the 16th century. Hunting with dogs is now banned in the United Kingdom[7], though hunting without dogs is still permitted. The sport is practiced in several other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Russia and the United States.

friendly fox 5

Domestication

The Russian Silver Fox, or Domesticated Silver Fox, is the result of nearly 50 years of experiments in the Soviet Union and Russia to domesticate the silver morph of the Red Fox. Notably, the new foxes not only became more tame, but more dog-like as well: they lost their distinctive musky “fox smell”, became more friendly with humans, put their ears down (like dogs), wagged their tails when happy and began to vocalize and bark like domesticated dogs. The breeding project was set up by the Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev.

Foxes


The safest way to handle foxes:

safe way to hold

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