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Red Fox Vixen & Raccoon Encounter

5-27-14 red fox & raccoon 197While observing the antics of a litter of red fox kits recently, I was witness to an encounter between the kits’ mother and a very large raccoon. The vixen started barking incessantly when she saw the raccoon, and slowly moved closer and closer to it until she was within 10 feet of it. After a short standoff, the raccoon lunged towards the fox, which ran a few feet away and then turned and chased the raccoon in the opposite direction. They took turns chasing each other until the fox eventually drove the raccoon away from her den and kits. While raccoons are omnivores, and a large part of their late spring diet is animals (mainly frogs, fish, crayfish and invertebrates, but also mammals, including squirrels, rabbits and young muskrats). I have never heard of raccoons preying on fox kits, but the mother fox’s behavior indicated that she was not comfortable with the raccoon being so close to her litter. (The following day I noticed that the nose of the runt of the litter had been bitten multiple times. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not.)

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8 responses

  1. Penny March

    Hopefully the coon was not rabid.

    May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  2. Cecelia Blair

    What an interesting account and exceptional photo, Mary! At the community garden where I live, we set a trap out for the woodchuck one year and caught a raccoon (and a skunk) instead. We had decided to let out the other animals right there. But when I let the raccoon out of the trap, the family of crows with a nest nearby went crazy scolding and making attacking gestures. I felt as though they were saying that I had made a big mistake in letting this bad character out again in their neighborhood. The raccoon slowly backed away from me and climbed up the nearest tree, all the while maintaining fierce eye contact and a snarling, ready-to-fight attitude. My question to you is, do you know of raccoons eating young crows?

    May 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    • Hi Cecelia,
      While I haven’t personally observed raccoons eating young crows, it would not surprise me in the least….either eggs or nestlings.

      May 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm

  3. Peter Denis

    Great photo! Thanks for posting it.

    May 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

  4. Bill On The Hill...

    Great shot Mary.
    A rare opportunity of nature at it’s best or worst, depending on one’s point of view!
    The hairs standing up on the mother fox’s neck speaks volumes, she wasn’t having any part of providing the assailant with a free meal…

    I have files on a wood turtle ( approx. 14 years old ) with missing RH front claws & LH rear claws, just stumps remain. I suspect the aftermath of a raccoon encounter years gone bye… Bill Farr

    May 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm

  5. nangalland

    wow! you could see that little nose?

    I want to be like you when I grow up! XO- Nan

    May 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

  6. Exciting times!

    May 28, 2014 at 12:10 am

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