WHAT TO DO WITH FEARLESS FOXES
Foxes are a small wild species belonging to the Canidae family and related to dogs, wolves, and coyotes. They are well adapted to different climates and are omnivores, likely to feed on anything available to them.
Unlike most wild animals and other canids, however, foxes do not live in packs. They prefer a solitary life and only come together during mating season and to care for their young. Like dogs, they are curious and playful, and will often mark their territory with feces in conspicuous places.
What to know about foxes
- Foxes, like most wild animals, are wary and scared of humans and will naturally go away when they sense the presence of people around. They are more active at night, but seeing them during the day is not uncommon.
- They are usually lured to backyards and garbage bags by the smell of food, and you may have a problem of foxes digging into your garbage. They also feed on fruits and vegetables, but will not disturb your garden or farm.
- Foxes also tend to feed on small animals like hamsters and rabbits, so if you have these animals as pets, you have to make strong cages for them.
- They will normally not attack humans, even children, though they are less wary of children and may approach them to play. But when attacked or scared, they may bite or scratch.
- Foxes live in underground dens, which may pass through porches, decks, or sheds. These dens are used as temporary housing to raise their young and as a shelter during
Unfavorable weather conditions.
Possible reasons for fearlessness
When a fox approaches humans and does not show any fear, some possibilities that should come to mind are:
- They are probably used to being fed by humans and have come to associate human presence with the availability of food and, hence, are unafraid to approach you. Even at that, noises like whistling and shooing should make them retreat.
- Rabies infection: An unusually aggressive or calm fox might be a rabid one, so do not approach such animals. If bitten or scratched, seek immediate medical attention.
- If a fox sees you approaching and does not run away, it may be that it is really sick and almost dying. Do not disturb it or try to move it. You can call the wild animal control in your locality to report the case.
- Foxes are prone to mite infestations, which can get so bad that it might be mistaken for rabies. Their fur is lost, and many open wounds can be seen throughout their bodies. This condition is treatable, and when noticed, a wildlife rehabilitator should be notified.
What to do
Possible signs of a rabid fox are:
- Unusual calmness, which is the dumb form of rabies and may be accompanied by partial paralysis.
- Excessive salivation and self-mutilation.
- Unprovoked aggression and attack on anything in their line of vision.
When you notice these signs, do not approach the animal, and make sure your pets are safe. Then call for your local animal control agency to handle such a fox.
If there is an attack on your pet, get immediate help from the veterinarian, and treat it as a rabies case. The most important precaution, however, is always to put your safety first.