***“Animal Help Tips” is offered as a public information source, not a formal instruction manual on how to deal with wild animal situations. The Wildlife Rescue League does not accept responsibility for any outcomes that might result from reading and acting on this material.***
Birthing: 3-8 pups in March-May
Eyes opened: 10-14 days
Weaning (beg-end): 5-8 weeks
Active: Nighttime or daytime; may come close to houses; year-round
Diet: Rodents, birds, small mammals, fruits, insects
Note: Red foxes are 7-15 pounds while gray foxes are smaller at 11-12 pounds. Red foxes have a white-tipped tail while gray foxes have a gray-tipped tail
Q - There’s a healthy-looking fox cub in my yard. Does it need to be rescued?
A - Unless you know for sure that the mother and father have been killed or disappeared, it is better to observe the situation. Both parents will mind the babies, and as long as the babies are not still nursing, young foxes can grow up with only their fathers to care for them. Foxes have more than one den site and often move the cubs around. Foxes are very sensitive to scent. If a cub becomes separated from the adult, the adult will return to get it if it does not have human scent on it, and humans are not close. Leave the cub alone to give the parent a chance to retrieve it undisturbed. Use gloves if the cub must be moved out of harm’s way. Return periodically to assess the situation. If the parent has not retrieved the cub in two hours, call the Hotline.
Q - How should I capture a sick adult fox?
A - The public should not handle adult foxes. They can be dangerous and they carry numerous parasites and diseases. Contact the Hotline if the fox is acting in an unusual manner. NOTE: Foxes are susceptible to sarcoptic mange, the skin mite condition which dogs can also have. Symptoms are sometimes confused with rabies. The fox will be miserable and itching, may have patchy fur, and may be starving to death or acting unusual. Mange is treatable; refer the caller to a rehabilitator.
Q - A fox comes into my yard during the day. Why?
A - Foxes are starting to adapt more to people. If there is food available, they will eat it. Juveniles and nursing mothers will come out during the day because there is less competition for food