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Injured or orphaned fox

If the fox has an obvious injury, is bleeding, feels cold or looks sick, or the fox is attempting to move away but is falling over, this animal needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information. 

If the animal is not injured, please review this information to further determine whether your wild animal needs assistance.

Both red and gray fox are native to Minnesota and can be found near metropolitan areas. Red fox live primarily in open areas and gray fox will be found in woods or heavy brush. Red fox are reddish orange in color with black legs and a white tip on their tail. The kits are more gray in color. Gray fox are brown/red in color and do not have a white tip on their tail. Both species are shy and wary of humans, but will seek food in areas populated by humans. Fox can carry parasites and diseases, but these are not easily transmitted to humans or pets.

Young fox kits are cared for by both their parents. As the fox kits grow, the parents will spend most of their time hunting to feed their growing family, and may not be at the den all of the time. The adult fox should be visiting the den two to three times per day. Sometimes a young fox kit will be dropped by its mother when being moved. A kit will wander away from its den if it is hungry.

If you see a young fox alone and it is in a safe area away from roads, observe at a distance. See if the adult comes to retrieve the kit. If the adult does not retrieve the kit within a few hours, the kit is probably an orphan who will need help. If you know that the parent has died, it may be necessary to remove the kits from the den.

Before removing kits from a den, seek professional advice. If you must handle a fox kit, you should wear thick, leather gloves, since even very young kits have sharp teeth. The kit should be placed in a plastic animal crate or strong cardboard box with ventilation holes. Make sure the top of the box is well secured. Please feel free to call Connie LaFond at (763) 972-6712 for further advice.

Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife facility, or a wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not keep the animal at your home longer than necessary. Get the animal professional help as soon as possible.

Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.