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Gray Fox YRWS

GRAY FOX

{ urocyon cinereoargenteus }

Semi-retractable, hooked claws make them the only member of the dog family that can climb trees.

PROFILE

Poppy came to us from a rehabber in Valdosta. She was deemed non-releasable because she is too friendly with people. She has a select few keepers she interacts with but when she enjoys scratches and playing with her enrichment.

Legolas came to us from A.W.A.R.E. Wildlife Center in Stonecrest, Georgia. He was injured and brought to the facility where it was determined that his leg should be amputated. After his surgery, we were able to give him a home. Losing his leg has not kept Legolas from climbing and jumping as evidenced when you watch him move about his enclosure.

Poppy
POPPY
Legolas
LEGOLAS

OVERVIEW

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary Least threatened
CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

Gray fox size compared to man
AVERAGE SIZE

Compared to a 6′ Man

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AVERAGE WEIGHT

8 – 15 lbs

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AVERAGE LIFESPAN

6 – 10 Years

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DIET

Omnivore

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REGIONS

North/South America

Found in rocky, wooded, brushy regions from southern Canada and into the northern areas of South America, including Venezuela and Colombia except for the mountains of northwestern United States. The gray fox is the only canid whose range spans both North and South America. They are often found living near bodies of water within a forest.

APPEARANCE

The gray fox can be most easily identified by its coat color which is silver-gray on its back and face, allowing it to blend in with the trunks of trees in the forest. Its fur is reddish on its legs and chest and white on its throat, mid-belly, and the insides of its legs. It has a long bushy tail with a black tip and black stripe along the top. A thin black stripe runs from the outside corner of each eye to the sides of the head.

CHARACTERISTICS

The gray fox is slender and fast, able to run more than 20 miles per hour. What’s most notable is its ability to climb trees. Strong, hooked claws and forearms that can rotate make it the only canid able to climb. In the trees, the fox can hunt, hide or create a place to sleep. Excellent sight, hearing and smell makes them efficient hunters. Their ability to swim comes in handy as they will chase prey through the woods towards a body of water where it may have the upperhand. They mainly feed on small animals including rabbits and rodents. During certain seasons they will take advantage of the nuts, berries, and fruit that grow in certain areas.

Gray fox are solitary animals but when it comes to mating they are monogamous. A pair stay together for life. Litters of 1 to 7 kits are born in the spring. They stay with their mother in the den while the father brings back food for her so she can provide them with milk. After 3 months the kits will be ready to leave the den and learn how to hunt themselves.

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