Expert shares information about native Minnesota foxes - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Expert shares information about native Minnesota foxes

 ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) - There are many species of native wildlife in the Minnesota area.

Gray foxes are one of the Minnesota native foxes that reside at Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo. Clarissa Josselyn works with the animals there and shared her knowledge of the native foxes. 

"Gray foxes are really unique in Minnesota they actually don't extend into the whole state the will not be in that arrow head, the north east part of Minnesota, which is rare because a lot of our animals you find heavily populated in that area. But gray foxes spend more of their time in trees; they are a tree climber," said Josselyn of the gray foxes.

They have adaptations that can help them climb, one of them being that their hind legs can kind of turn and swivel.

"At the zoo we can give them lots of fun things to climb, in their exhibit here we always try to provide the option that they can get up high maybe try to climb a log somewhere and another cool thing about gray foxes is that not every day will that log be in the same place we try to keep their lives enriching by moving around the logs so they can climb in different areas," said Josselyn as she described their enclosure.

Gray foxes are classified as omnivores which means they eat both meats as well as fruits and vegetables and nuts and berries. They also do more foraging for leaves, grasses, and other foliage. They are known for hunting rabbits as well, and they also eat carrion - carrion beingthat roaddkilll or anything left dead on the side of the road.

The red fox is one of the most widely distributed foxes we have here in Minnesota. They can live in many different habitats, one of them being in the woodlands so in for nests and trees and also grasslands, and they've also adapted to be able to live in urban areas as well.

According to Josselyn, "Rochester being the true city that it is has many foxes and breeding pairs in the city of Rochester. Ours [at Zollman Zoo] are true red foxes, there are many different subspecies, more than sixty different subspecies of red foxes, and there's also different color variations. Red foxes can come as albino so it'd be a very blonde or white, actually all white, and it would have the red eyes. Then there's also blonde ones which would be that very blonde color, very light faced, very light colored red fox. And actually silver foxes and black foxes, black foxes would be called your melanistic fox so it would appear completely dark, almost black all over, and a silver fox would be that grayer, kind of white and black, intermixed in their fur. Also there's known as the cross fox too as another phase that has that black cross that goes across their back. The foxes that we have here at Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo are true red foxes, they are genetically perfect, they have the true red color of a red fox."

Red foxes are also known for their speed and agility. They are able to run up to thirty miles an hour when hunting and can leap up to fifteen feet in a single bound.


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