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Foxes

Urban Wildlife - Fox The City of Thunder Bay has an abundance of wildlife, including foxes. These foxes form part of our natural environment.

Like the other North American canids - the wolf, coyote and jackal - the fox has a doglike appearance. The Red Fox has a rusty-reddish coat with a white belly, chin and throat. Its long bushy red tail has a white tip. Like raccoons and skunks, foxes are attracted to the City by the variety and quantity of food. They eat whatever is available, including; fruits, vegetables and grasses, insects, small mammals, birds and crayfish. Foxes are usually shy and nervous and primarily night creatures. They do not run in packs.

Although wild animals can become a nuisance, they do not usually present a threat to human health and safety. The least expensive and least traumatic method of dealing with wild animals is to animal-proof properties before animals move in. Vaccinating and securely confining pets, and training children to respect wildlife and to leave wild animals alone, also minimizes any risk to human health and safety.

Because foxes have no predators and there is plenty of available food, it is not unusual to see them in the City, especially during the fall and winter when there is little cover to hide them.

A healthy fox is unlikely to bother you or your pet, and is not likely to consider your pet as food unless you have an outdoor rabbit or other small outdoor caged pets.

Unless a fox has learned that humans supply food, a healthy fox will not generally approach humans. Even a toddler is far too large to be seen as prey. A simple clap of the hands, or the banging of cans will usually discourage a fox from approaching.

Foxes and skunks are the two major rabies carriers in Ontario. However, oral vaccination programs of foxes have significantly reduced spread of the disease by them. If you see a fox in the City you should not be concerned unless it appears disoriented, sick, or injured, or appears to have poor coordination, or is unusually tame.

If you see a fox with any of these signs report it immediately to the Ministry of Natural Wildlife at 475-1472.

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