In late July, Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre began receiving phone calls about a juvenile red fox in Bayfield suffering from a severe case of sarcoptic mange.
Red foxes are dog-like carnivores that make excellent hunters because of their incredibly strong sense of smell and hearing. Despite their name, red foxes’ lustrous fur can be brown, black or even have a silver tinge.
They are resourceful, intelligent animals and unlike their pack-like cousins, the wolf and dog, prefer a solitary life. Their vertical pupils are designed for stealthy hunting at night, when they feast not only on small mammals, birds and frogs, but also on fruit, vegetables and seeds. Though they are nocturnal, it’s not unusual to spot a fox during the day.
Foxes mate in winter, giving birth to as many as 10 pups in the spring. Pups, which open their eyes nine days after birth, with their parents until they are about seven months old, when they venture out to find a home of their own.