My neighbor noticed a fox den on my property about a month and a half ago, and after it was pointed out to me I would watch for them to come out of the den most every evening around dusk. Their den was about 2-300 yards from the side of my house in a little clump of trees right in the middle of the farmland that’s adjacent to my place.
About a month after I noticed them I saw a dead fox on my drive to work, at the point on the road that is closest to the den. A month later, a second dead fox, same place. This saddened me, and I wondered how the fox kits would survive if it was both parents who had been slain. Then things got weird. The afternoon after I saw the dead fox, I got home from work and took Soolin out to play in the yard. I noticed on the way into the house that one of the foxes was wandering the farmland, which was unusual. While I had occasionally seen them out on the field during the day, every other time it had been either in the early morning or very late in the day.
The moment Soolin came down the stairs and into the yard, the fox looked up and made a beeline for her. Not in a brazen ‘attack!’ sort of way, more like in a ‘let me creep up on her, but as quick as I can’ kind of way, with a very alert expression – ears forward, eyes focused like lasers on her. I rushed her into the house, not sure what to make of it. For the next several days I was constantly seeing the fox out in the field, and almost every time I brought Soolin outside it would come running for my yard, even when it was in its den. At one point it even came right into the yard and onto the driveway and crept around the garage, peering around the side of it to look at Soolin, who was looking back at it through the back door.
Then one day – no more fox. Since then I’ve seen it only once, and it was far enough off that I can’t even be sure it was the same fox. I’ve no idea what to make of this behavior. Did it think Soolin was possibly one of its missing parents? Blame her for their disappearance? Need to eat and think ‘hmm, tasty blond snack!’ Have rabies and basically gone off its gourd? Anyone have a clue what might cause a fox to behave this way?
I should also note it’s not clear to me this was even one of the kits – it seemed over large to have been born in the spring. I know they grow quickly, but this seemed large even by grown fox standards.