Genus and Species: Urocyon cinereoargenteus
6 years in the wild
14 years in captivity
The gray fox is widespread throughout North and Central America.
Gray foxes are omnivorous solitary hunters which eat mostly rabbits, voles, shrews, and birds. The gray fox seeks out and eat more vegetation than red species foxes do.
The gray fox is a bit more unique than other the foxes covered on this site as they aren’t one of the 12 true foxes of the Vulpes genus. Instead, this species is in the Genus Urocyon along with the Island fox. At one point, the gray fox was the most common fox found in the Eastern US. Unfortunately, however, human advancement and deforestation resulted in the red fox taking that title.
The gray fox is the only American canid that climbs trees, which is an ability shared with the Tanuki (raccoon dog) and the New Guinea Singing Dog. This small canid can climb vertical, branchless tree trunks, and will often do so to escape predators and find food and shelter.
Gray foxes typically live in hollow trees or in appropriately sized underground dens and have been seen in trees as high up as 30ft from the ground. Currently, the gray fox is assumed to be a socially monogamous species with a breeding season that changes based on their geographical location.
With their big eyes and small statures, it’s easy to fall head over heels for gray foxes. But is having a pet gray fox right for you? Like any captive bred wild animal, living with a gray fox can be an absolute nightmare if you don’t know what to expect. If you are looking for advice on what it is like to keep a gray fox as a pet, read on!