Garanimals Blog

August 29th, 2012 at 8:19 am

Red Fox in the Neighborhood

Our town borders Chicago and we are very urban, so I’m always surprised to see real wildlife. In addition to bunnies, squirrels, opossums and skunks, bigger critters have moved in.

We’ve been visited by several deer (including a huge buck that I saw jump over our fence) and a couple of coyotes. This spring, a red fox family moved into the neighborhood. My son made the first sighting on the way home from school and texted everyone about it.

I met Mr. Fox a few days later, when I stepped out one morning and there he was, sitting on our front lawn under the shade of our elm tree. Our street gets lots of foot traffic, but Mr. Fox didn’t seem to mind. He and his family became the talk of the town and even landed a role on a YouTube video (fair warning—it’s supper time for the fox, so the video is a little graphic).

I did some research and it’s not uncommon for the red fox to show up in urban areas. Apparently, as the coyote population has increased in Illinois, red foxes are moving into cities to avoid competing with the coyotes for food or becoming their prey. You would think with foxes in town, our bunny population would be declining, but my gardening friends say that hasn’t happened.

The kids in the neighborhood have had a blast watching the foxes. I taught a creative writing summer camp and our group ran into the fox on one of our weekly trips to the library. Some of my campers wrote about it and drew pictures. Even in the city, you never know what wild things you might encounter.

Related Picture Books
Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle
Red Fox at Hickory Lane by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.

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