Red Foxes at Our Long Island Zoo

Red foxes are named for their reddish coat, but they can also be gray, golden, black or brown.  The red fox has the largest geographic range of all members of the Carnivora order, habituating across the entire Northern Hemisphere, including the Arctic Circle, North America, Africa, and Asia. The key to their flourishing survival is their adaptability to various climates and habitats, including deserts, forests, grasslands and mountainous regions.

Foxes are famous for their resourcefulness and cunning. Mainly solitary nocturnal hunters, red foxes feed on birds, insects and small rodents like squirrels, rabbits and mice. These foxes are actually omnivorous, however, and grasses, berries, and fruits and vegetables comprise a large part of their diet.  Red foxes are able to cope well around humans and have been known to scavenge through garbage cans. In the wild, the red fox is hunted by larger predators, such as wolves, coyotes, and wildcats.

Foxes use a series of calls to communicate, and can also signal each other with their tails. The fox’s bushy tail has other uses, too, aiding in balance and used as a warm cover in the winter.

Red foxes live in family groups in dens. The gestation period is 49-58 days, and the vixen (female fox) will give birth to two to 12 kits per litter. Oftentimes, the young of a mated pair will remain with their parents to help raise new kits.