We are all familiar with the phrases “Quick as a fox”; “Smart as a fox”, and “Sly as a fox”. Television portrays foxes in children’s cartoons as sneaky and underhanded — think of “Swiper” on the cartoon “Dora”. Older TV shows and movies, as well as books, always have the fox raiding the hen house.
So, what are foxes? And are they really so sneaky and sly? A fox is a mammal that will eat both plants and other animals. Field mice and rabbits are typical food for foxes. Foxes tend to look sort of like a skinny dog of medium size to some people. Foxes come in a number of colors, the best recognized is the Red Fox.
(above photo of Red Fox from Wikipedia, used with permission under a creative commons license)
Are foxes sneaky and sly? Many foxes hunt during the night hours giving rise to the view they are sneaky and sly. This is due to people not seeing the fox until dogs bark or a person surprises a fox near their house. While most foxes will stay away from people, some foxes will turn over trash cans looking for food scraps. Foxes will quickly grab an unguarded chicken from a backyard.
Would you like to know more about foxes? Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center has actual fox fur you and/or your kids can hold and examine. Stop by and ask one of our friendly staff or volunteers about foxes. They will be glad to help. Our Nature Center is open on weekends. Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.