Red Fox

Red Fox

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(Vulpes vulpes). Patient Number 24-86

Date of admission: April 24, 2024.
Reason for admission: Orphaned.

Patient History:

The red fox has a large geographic range. They can be found across the Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America, and Asia. Red foxes are the largest of the four species of fox that inhabit Canada; the others are the Swift fox (Vulpes velox), Grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). Adult red foxes weigh three to five kilograms (7 to 11 pounds). Contrary to their name, not all red foxes are red - adult red foxes can also have brown, black, and even silver fur.

Red foxes can be found in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. Foxes prefer living near the edges of wooded habitats that border open prairie grasslands, but their highly adaptive nature has allowed them to thrive in urban environments as well. Red foxes are nocturnal, which means that they are most active at night. Foxes hunt almost exclusively in the early morning hours before the sun rises and late in the evening after the sun has set. Although rodents are their primary prey, their diet may also include small birds, eggs, insects, hares, and frogs. Foxes have been known to prey on domestic chickens and, as a result, have been labeled as a nuisance animal.

This orphaned red fox kit was found wandering by himself on a farm just outside of Medicine Hat. His fur was in poor condition and he was covered in fleas, so we immediately knew that he did not have parents in the area (otherwise he would have been groomed). The finder was able to get the kit into a kennel and drove him all the way out to Strathmore, where AIWC staff met them and got the kit into care. Thankfully he is in good shape (especially now that he has had a flea bath!) and is eating and drinking well. We will likely be caring for this kit until late August or early September when he is old enough to head out on his own!