Foxes

  •    Carry rabies
  •    Known to eat peoples chickens
  •    Have been known to eat house cats
  •    Known to den under houses and buildings

If I see a fox in the daytime, is it rabid?
No. It is now common to see foxes during the daytime and in urban or suburban areas. Foxes are responding to the lack of threats posed by people and the abundance of food available in suburban area. However, if the animal shows signs of rabies — such as aggression, stumbling or foaming at the mouth — call your local animal control.

What is the difference between a red and a grey fox?
The gray fox is slightly smaller than the red fox and is much darker in color. While gray foxes have a reddish hue on their neck and legs, their overall coloration is gray with a dark streak extending down the back and along the tail. The gray fox is the only fox native to North Carolina, and can climb trees, unlike the red fox. The red fox was brought to North Carolina from Europe by hunters during colonial times. The tail, body and top of the head are all the same shade of red, while its undersides are light and its legs and ears are tipped in black. The tail is long, bushy, and has a white tip. Both foxes live throughout the entire state.

Should I rescue/approach a den of pups?
Do not approach foxes or fox dens. Do not approach, touch or feed a fox or its pups. Young animals, even if alone, are not necessarily abandoned. Many animals do not stay with their young and only return to feed them.

Will foxes attack me, my pet or my child?
Fox attacks on people, including children, are rare. While it is in a fox’s nature to be curious, and even bold sometimes, they are not aggressive. But, like other wildlife, they will become habituated if people feed them, either purposely or inadvertently, such as with garbage or outdoor pet food.

What should I do if I see a fox?
Simply seeing a fox is not cause for concern and is in fact a very exciting opportunity for you to enjoy North Carolina’s wildlife. However, if you see a fox frequently, you and your neighbors should take steps to prevent conflicts with it, and other wildlife, by implementing the following recommended steps.

If you think you have a problem with a fox:
• Implement the non-lethal steps described above.
• Call local animal control if the fox exhibits signs of rabies, such as aggression, stumbling and foaming at the mouth.
• It is illegal to relocate foxes in North Carolina due to the potential to spread diseases and because this would simply move the problem, rather than solve it. The solution is to modify your habits and prevent foxes from being attracted to your home.
• If the fox has caused property damage, contact Lyons Wildlife Control & Removal
• Foxes can be hunted in some counties using firearms and archery equipment. However, check to see if local ordinances restrict the discharge of firearms and for hunting season dates and areas.
• Foxes can be trapped in some counties during the local fox trapping season. Check with your county to see if it has a fox trapping season.

Next Steps…

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