Meet the Animals

Gray Fox

  • The Red River Zoo is the home of one female Gray Fox that is a favorite of many visitors.
  • Zoo guests can check out her exhibit located next to the North American River Otter exhibit.
  • Her den was built in 2011.

What do I look like?

I am a mammal and have hair all over my body. I have pointed ears and a long pointed nose. I have a peppered gray coat with red-orange fur on my sides and chest. This is why sometimes people confuse me for a Red Fox. I have a long bushy tail with a black stripe. I am three feet long and weigh less than 15 pounds. I am smaller than an average dog.

What do I eat?

Many people think I am a carnivore, but I am actually an omnivore. A large part of my diet is meat, but I also like to eat plants. I eat small animals like rabbits, voles, and mice, as well as fruits and vegetables including apples, corn, and berries.

Where do I live?

My family members can be found as far north as Canada and as far south as Venezuela and Columbia. My home is called my den. I have many different habitats all in wooded and bushy areas. I make my dens in hollow trees, caves, and rock structures.

How big is my family?

After being pregnant for less than two months, I will give birth to a litter with up to seven pups. They will drink my milk until they are about three months old and then I will teach them how to hunt. After they are old enough and have learned how to hunt, they will go live on their own.

How am I adapted for winter?

When it gets really cold, I stay in my warm den. I decrease my activity but I do not hibernate, even when it is really cold. My warm fur coat also helps me stay warm.

Did You Know?

Foxes have few predators because of their great ability to escape. Pups are vulnerable to large birds of prey, but a Gray Fox’s main predator is the Coyote.
Gray Foxes help farmers because they eat rodents that would destroy their crops.
Gray Foxes communicate with each other by using a variety of calls that indicate danger or location.
The Gray Fox is the only member of the dog family that can climb trees. They climb by grabbing the trunk with their forepaws and scrambling up with their long claws on their hind feet. This is why their dens can be found 30 feet high up in a tree!

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Urocyon

 

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