Urban Foxes | Living Among Us

Urban foxes are a common sight in many cities and towns worldwide. These small mammals have adapted to living close to humans, often residing in our gardens or parks and finding food sources that are left discarded in the streets.

The presence of urban foxes is becoming increasingly frequent as they easily adapt to their new environments. They can survive on scraps of food from bins or even by hunting rats and mice that live in the sewers beneath our feet. They also benefit from areas with plenty of foliage and vegetation, providing them with shelter and protection against predators.

What Is an Urban Fox?

An urban fox is a wild animal found living in city environments. They are typically medium-sized, reddish-brown with white fur on their chest and belly, long snouts, and bushy tails. Urban foxes are often seen lurking around parks and gardens looking for food and shelter. Though they may appear to be harmless or even cute, the truth is that these animals can be dangerous if not respected.

Urban foxes live much longer than their rural counterparts; wild foxes can only expect to live 1-2 years due to predators and lack of resources, they can survive for up to 6 years.

The most common species of urban fox is the red fox, recognizable by its reddish-brown fur coat and pointed muzzle. These animals are typically smaller than their rural counterparts, with a body length of up to 35 inches (90 centimetres), a tail length of up to 24 inches (60 centimetres), and an overall weight of about 10 pounds (4 kilograms). Urban foxes are solitary hunters who mainly feed on small mammals, frogs, birds, insects, fruits, and vegetables. They will also scavenge through human waste bins for scraps or leftovers when needed.

Urban Foxes
Urban Fox

What Does an Urban Fox Eat?

Urban foxes are becoming more and more common in cities around the world. They may look cute and cuddly, urban foxes are wild animals requiring a diet to stay healthy.

Urban foxes are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Plants, fruit, and berries comprise a significant part of their diets. Vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, and carrots can also be found in the stomachs of urban foxes during examination by researchers.

When it comes to animal matter, small mammals like mice and voles form the bulk of their diet, but insects such as beetles can also be eaten when available.

Urban Foxes in London

Urban foxes have become a common sight in the streets of London, with their presence becoming increasingly noticeable over the past decade.  They first started appearing in London during the 1950s.

Some Londoners often see foxes trotting along pavements and scavenging through bins as a nuisance, but others take comfort from their presence. They are said to be a reminder of nature amongst an increasingly built-up and concrete landscape and have gained something of an iconic status in certain parts of the capital.

In 2012, residents of Great Britain participated in a data collection program aimed at understanding the presence and behavior of urban red foxes in London. This research was conducted to gain insight into how humans and foxes interact within urban areas and to provide better management strategies for co-habitation.

The study involved asking people to report sightings of foxes in their local area over the course of twelve months. The information collected revealed the red fox population was much more abundant than previously thought, With an estimated 25,000 living in London alone. Despite this large number, they were rarely seen due to their stealthy nature. The data also highlighted that foxes tended to prefer certain areas, such as parks and gardens, where food is available and there is less human activity.

Urban Foxes Behavior

Urban foxes are a sight that many urban dwellers may have seen or heard but never paid much attention to. These animals can provide an interesting insight into the behavior and ecology of wild animals living in our cities. Studying the behavior of urban foxes can help us understand how they interact with their environment, which can be useful information for city officials and animal lovers.

Urban foxes often live in densely populated areas due to the availability of food sources such as garbage and rodents. They display various behaviors depending on their environment, including scavenging, denning, nesting, mating, and raising cubs. Urban foxes are known to be highly adaptable to human-made habitats and environments compared to other wildlife species; this allows them to take full advantage of resources available in cities, like food scraps from restaurants or compost piles from backyards.

Urban Foxes

Urban Foxes Habitat

Urban foxes inhabit areas of green space, such as parks and gardens, where they can find food, shelter, and safety. They also use larger open spaces, such as railway lines or school fields, to travel between territories.

Urban foxes have adapted well to city life and are often seen scavenging for food late at night in search of scraps from bins or even pet food left out by humans. They also feast on small rodents and birds found in abundance throughout urban areas. Foxes create dens beneath sheds or dense shrubbery to protect themselves from the elements and predators. These dens act as both a home and a safe place for raising cubs during the breeding season.

Are Urban Foxes Dangerous?

Foxes have always been seen as sly, cunning animals, but are they a threat to humans in urban environments?

Foxes usually shy away from human contact unless they are overly comfortable with their environment and feel secure enough to approach people. In this case, an urban fox could be considered dangerous as it could bite or scratch if it feels threatened. These incidents are extremely rare and can almost always be avoided by not approaching or cornering an animal.

Some cases of fox attacks have been reported in urban areas, these animals pose very little danger to humans when they remain wild and undisturbed by people.

How to Keep Foxes Out

Keeping foxes out of your yard, there are several steps you should take. The first is not to feed the foxes to discourage them from lingering around your property. Foxes have a keen sense of smell, so scent alone may be enough to draw them in. Secondly, check around your home for any open crawl spaces and make sure they are closed off properly with wire mesh or other materials.

Thirdly, putting up fencing can also be a great way to keep foxes away from your yard. Fencing should be at least 6 feet tall and buried a few inches below so that the animals cannot dig underneath it. If you own livestock, consider investing in predator-proof enclosures to protect against foxes and other predators.


Urban foxes have successfully adapted to living among us in cities and towns. Their ability to navigate built-up areas, scavenge for food, and even raise their young in close proximity to humans is a testament to their resilience and adaptability. Some may view their presence as a nuisance or a potential threat, but these animals are simply trying to survive in an ever-changing environment. By coexisting with urban foxes and finding ways to mitigate any negative impacts they may have, we can foster a harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife. Let us appreciate the beauty of nature’s adaptability and strive towards creating a more inclusive urban ecosystem for all species.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips on how to keep foxes out of my yard?

Remove Any Potential Food Sources From Your Garden.
Secure Your Bins.
Place Your Bird Feeders Out of Reach.
Ensure There Are No Access Points in Your Garden.
Regularly Check For Tell-Tale Fox Signs.
Cover Your Pond.
Use Fruit Cages to Protect Your Plants.

What’s an urban fox?

Foxes generally shelter in the earth or den, which is below ground. Still, in civic situations, they frequently live underneath shanties and other outbuildings.

How long do urban foxes live?

The average lifespan of an urban fox is estimated to range from 2 to 4 years.

Anam Zia

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