One of the most enjoyable sights to see here at New River Gorge National River is the elusive red fox. The red fox is a member of the canine family. Though most red foxes do in fact have a reddish brown hue, it is also not uncommon for them to be silver, white, or even grey. They have elongated heads to go along with elongated bodies with shorter legs. They are also identified by their short but bushy tails.
Red foxes usually hunt under the cover of darkness. They are opportunistic hunters and will kill and eat anything the size of a rabbit or smaller. Here in the gorge they eat rabbits, rodents, lizards, birds, fish, and the occasional famer's chicken. In the summer, they also eat nuts, berries, and insects.
Red foxes are born in springtime. By August, the fox pups start going out on their own. By the early fall, the family disbands, and the pups become self sufficient. During the winter the pup will find a mate and will stay with that mate for the rest of their life. Red foxes live in dens that they sometimes dig from the ground, although they also may use down rotten logs, rock crevices, or unused burrows. They prefer forested habits near range of farmland areas.
Did You Know?
The New River Gorge was logged extensively thoughout the past century. The landscape is now recovering, with the park ecosystem returning to its more natural state, but there are still plenty of signs of the past activities.