three species of the red fox found in India: the Tibetan fox, the Kashmir fox and the
Identified by its rusty red fur, white underbelly, and black ears and legs, the red fox is
distinguished differently from other foxes by the white color on the tip of its tail. The
reddish tone in the fox’s fur can change from crimson to gold depending on the time of
year. Two color variants of the red fox commonly occur:
The red fox has gold to yellow vertically split pupils in its eyes like a cat. They can see as well as a cat and has been referred to as “the cat-like-canid.” Its tail provides the fox ample balance while leaping and bounding. The red fox can run up to 45 mph. They grow more fur during the autumn and winter months to keep warm in colder environments and shed at the beginning of spring.
Found from prairies to forests, the red fox shares its territories with raccoons, although
more numbers of them have been increasingly found in suburban areas because of their
adaptability. They eat rodents, insects, fruits, worms, eggs, birds and other small
animals. Primarily active at twilight, the red fox stalks its prey like a cat, gets as close as
Mating around mid-January, the red fox gives birth to three to eight kits around the middle of March. The kits are weaned at nine weeks and start to hunt with their parents. Until they are ready and able to hunt on their own, they eat regurgitated food given to them by their mother and after a few weeks are given live prey to eat and “play” with. Playing with live prey helps the kits develop the skills they will need when hunting. They remain with their parents until late summer or early fall.
The red fox uses several dens throughout its territory. Large dens are used for winter living, birthing and raising young while smaller dens are used for food storage and emergency purposes. A series of tunnels connect to the main den and the same den is usually used over a number of generations. Eluding predators, the red fox will circle and backtrack instead of fighting off their offenders. They avoid coyotes, but will coexist in the same area competing for food. The red fox is a solitary animal and does not form packs like wolves. Their territories will overlap sometimes, but are regularly defended. Scent glands above the fox’s tail are used to mark its territory.
The red fox is usually taken by natural predators as young pups when they are not
protected by their parents.
Credits: Our thanks to Lani Powell, who researched and wrote our fox articles!