The Eastern Gray Fox
(Urocycon Cinereoargentens)

    The gray fox is a mammal. The average gray fox is 32 to 45 in. long. They weigh between 7 to 11 lbs. Gray foxes are grayish on the top of their bodies and are reddish on the bottom of their bodies and on the back of their heads. Their throats are white. Their tails are black with a black mane on top. The under side of the grayfox's tail is rusty yellow. Their feet are a brownish color. From a distance the gray fox looks like a small dog. Some people confuse the red fox with the gray fox. The gray fox is more aggressive than the red fox.They are also easier to trap than the red fox.

    Gray fox tracks, when straight, are similar to a large cat. Their tracks show 4 toes and claws. Sometimes the semi-rectractable claws don't show. Their tracks are less than 2 inches long.  Their tracks are spaced 8-15 inches apart. In short distances the fox can reach a speed up to 28 miles per hour. The gray fox is the only relative of the dog family that can climb trees.

    The gray fox can be found in Eastern North and South Dakota, Kansas, almost all of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, north up through Colorado, Southern Utah, Southern Nevada, Western Oregon and Eastern United States. You can also find gray foxes in wooded areas throughout  Illinois.

    The gray fox’s home or habitat is a hollow log. They also like to live under piles of rocks. They put grass in their dens. During breeding season they make a den for their young. Their dens are usually 4 feet deep.

    The gray fox eats small animals. They also eat plants and bugs. They will eat poultry on some occasions. They eat about a pound of meat every meal. The leftovers are buried in the ground, covered in leaves, and sprinkled with urine, so no one else will take it. The gray fox will climb trees to get  its food. When it senses danger, it will hide in an empty hawk crow's nest.

    The gray fox is pregnant for 63 days. It can have 2-7 pups at a time. They mate in February or in early March. Their babies arrive around March through most of May. The babies weigh about 3 ½ ounces. Their eyes open eight days after birth. When they are ten weeks old they go on a hunting trip with their parents.

    The gray fox is important to us. They are trapped to make coats and furs. We also have sporting events where we use a hound to hunt gray foxes. They are also helpful because they trap and eat rats.

    The gray fox is usually nocturnal but is sometimes seen in the day. They are sometimes called tree foxes because of their ability to climb trees. The gray fox will sometimes act like a dog.

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                                                                                                          by Markel
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