Before diving into what animals eat foxes, let’s first understand the type of animal being preyed on. What are foxes? They are animals in the family of Canidae (dog) relating closely to domestic and wild dogs but exhibit cat’s traits such as tree climbing. So are foxes predators? Yes, naturally, they are known to feed on smaller and weaker animals like rats and rabbits below in the food chain.
Is it possible for an animal to be a predator and yet be preyed on by others? Yes, if an animal is not at the top of the food chain, it will get preyed on by other superior animals while it eats the smaller ones, and the chain continues. Thus, foxes being almost at the bottom of the food chain they get preyed on by many animals.
What eat foxes? Foxes are eaten by animals above them in the food chain. Such animals include but are not limited to mountain lions, eagles, coyotes, wolves, lynxes, and bears, among others. Humans also hunt and destroy their habitats. Let’s not examine each of these animals that eat foxes.
What Eat Foxes?
1. Mountain lions
Do Mountain lions eat foxes? Yes
Mountain lions are also known as Cougar. They are among the big cats of the Felidae family known to prey on the foxes. They are primarily found in America and spread out from California to South America and Canada.
These predators eat almost every prey ranging from foxes, rodents, deer, buffaloes, birds, bears, reptiles, and amphibians. Despite foxes being carnivorous, they get preyed on by mountain lions as they have exceptional strength and speed to deliver a fast calculated move.
Besides, most animals hunt at night, and as foxes hoover around at night searching for food, they become an easy kill for the mountain lions. Foxes can also prey on smaller animals like rodents and rabbits making them a direct competitor of mountain lions. As such, mountain lions target them to eliminate competition.
When mountain lions make a larger kill, they hide it by covering it with brushes and eat it late. They can feed on it several times throughout the day.
Do Leopards eat foxes? Yes
Leopards are the biggest cats of the Felidae family. If the ecosystem within which a fox resides is suitable for a leopard, then foxes will be on the verge of becoming extinct after being preyed on by leopards. While they might not be much of a meal, they are enough to complete the food chain. In other words, when other prey becomes harder to catch, the leopards can turn to foxes as they will make a quick kill.
Besides, red foxes are usually larger than other foxes and hence make a great meal for leopards. For small animals which are at the bottom level of the food chain, like foxes, the animal kingdom can be a brutal place to live in and bring up their young ones. There are a lot of predators ready to prey on them, like the leopard. In a battle between a leopard and a fox, the fox is no match for the leopard, and it will end up being preyed on.
Do bears eat foxes? Yes
If you are wondering whether bears eat foxes, the answer is yes. Despite being such a large animal, they will prey on foxes when it becomes challenging to catch a bit larger animal as they are an easy catch. In other instances, they do not wish to just do not want to get tired, and since foxes are a quick catch, they go for it. Also, they train their young ones to hunt using smaller animals within the kingdom, as the foxes.
Bears are at a higher level in the food chain and are found in North America and beyond. They live in the mountains and also in the northern hemisphere, where the temperatures are very cold.
Do Wolves eat foxes? Yes
Wolves are another group of animals of the Canidae family that eat foxes. They are spectaculars creatures but also vicious, and they are known for hunting and killing other smaller animals like foxes. Thus, despite sharing the same species with foxes, they will hunt and kill them when they are hungry.
They are the world’s most powerful dogs and are mostly found at the top of the Northern hemisphere. These parts are very cold, and they are only likely to find the red foxes that tend to grow an additional layer of fur during winter. Thus, they are not easily found anywhere, but since they are above the foxes in the food chain, they are, therefore, among other animals that eat foxes.
Wolves hunt in packs and share their prey. They do not go looking for foxes as they are smaller prey, but when there is food scarcity, they will hunt and kill any fox that crosses their way.
Do Coyotes eat foxes? Yes
Coyotes are another group of animals belonging to the same family as foxes but prey on them. They even share the same prey, food, and diet. Coyotes and foxes are natural enemies, and whenever they close paths, they always fight. For this reason, each animal tends to stay in its territory, but increased human activities have forced these animals out of their habitats, forcing them to live in the same ecosystem.
However, Coyotes usually do not go hunting for foxes, but when there is food scarcity, Coyotes will kill their competitor (foxes) to reduce competition and at the same time get food. During such instances, young foxes and small-sized adult-like red foxes are usually at a higher risk of getting killed and eaten by Coyotes.
Do eagles eat foxes? Yes
If you are wondering how an eagle can kill and eat a fox, it is possible. Eagles are above the foxes in the food chain. More so, these birds are carnivorous, meaning they will hunt and kill any animal that is within their capacity. In most cases, eagles do not go for adult prey because they can easily fall from their beak given their heavy weight.
Thus, they mostly eat fish and other small birds like carrion. However, they can also opt for young and small animals like young foxes for quick snatch when there is food scarcity.
They have strong sight and can see the ground clearly from high in the sky, making it easy to scoop their prey very fast before they notice danger. Large eagles are capable of snatching an adult fox from the ground. They are very common in Africa.
Do Bobcats eat foxes? Yes
Bobcats are carnivores and eat all types of animals that fall below them in the food chain. Such animals include foxes, owls, and raccoons. They are heavy feeders and eat about three pounds of meat daily. Thus, foxes become the perfect size for them.
They are shy and tend to hide from humans in most cases. While they try to stay within their habitat, they are always forced out by human activities. It is rare for bobcats and foxes to run into each other, but since bobcats hunt at dusk, thus increasing their chances of meeting with a fox.
Do Lynx eat foxes? Yes
This is another group of animals belonging to the cat family. They are large and have strong muscles making them capable of hunting and killing foxes.
However, foxes are usually not their primary prey. But since they share the same hunting grounds and prey, they are likely to cross paths often. This places foxes at the risk of being preyed on by the lynx, especially when the food is scarce.
The lynx will tend to eliminate competition by killing the foxes and also become a source of food for them. The lynx is commonly found in Asia, North America, and some regions in Europe.
Do Owls eat foxes? Yes
Owls are large carnivores’ birds. It is on the top list among animals and birds that eat foxes. Like foxes, Owls hunt at night, placing them at the right place and time to be hunted and killed. The largest Owl is about two feet tall within 5 feet wingspan. They have about 87.8% of diet mammals in North America, and Foxes are surely one of them.
Owls live in various places around the world, stretching from North America to Africa and beyond. Similarly, due to human activities, foxes have expanded their territories to other continents, thus, increasing the chances of owls and foxes crossing paths frequently.
Owls attack foxes by landing close silently to them and then ambushing them. They strike very fast and grab their prey’s hand using their sharp talons.
In some instances, the fox can be lucky and attack the Owl on the wigs before getting a chance to grab its prey. At that point, the predator will become the prey.
Do Wolverines eat foxes? Yes
Wolverines are known to be scavenger hunters. However, they can also prey on smaller animals like foxes when they get an opportunity. Unlike other predators, this animal can be termed cruel because it usually wounds the animal repeatedly without killing and letting it bleed to death.
After the prey is dead, they will hide its carcass and return to it several times. However, unlike a fox that digs its carcass up and buries it to make sure it is safe, wolverines can be a bit lazy as they just cover their prey with brushes.
Also, most animals will hunt when they are hungry and will not stock a lot of carcasses for the future. However, wolverine will kill more than they need and store it for later days.
Do Badgers eat foxes? Yes
Badgers are another group of carnivores’ animals that feed on almost everything and anything. In most cases, they coexist with foxes harmoniously. They share a similar diet and habitat and therefore cross paths regularly. Nevertheless, foxes try to keep off the way of these small yet aggressive animals.
If they peacefully coexist in the same habitat, how come they turn to be fox predators? Despite their peaceful coexistence, badgers can turn on foxes if, for a moment, they feel threatened. Also, since they share a diet, it means they are competitors, and a badger being strong than foxes will tend to eliminate competition when the food is scarce.
Do Humans eat foxes? Yes
You might not believe it, but humans are the greatest predators of foxes. For ages, foxes have been a great source of meat for humans. Also, most human activities have been proven to be a threat to the existence of foxes. First, humans, through their agricultural activities, have continued to destroy the natural habitat for foxes, leaving them exposed to other predators high in the food chain.
Hunting, a human activity that was introduced to minimize threats to livestock and other farm animals, has resulted in increased loss of life for many foxes. Foxes are hunted by humans for their fur, skin meat, and coat for trade. For instance, Arctic foxes have greatly reduced due to the establishment of the fur trade industry. Hunting for sports purposes has also contributed to the reduction of the fox population in many parts of the world. All these human activities have resulted in a significant decrease in the foxes’ community.
The rate at which humans are killing foxes is alarming. Thus, they are the worst enemy of foxes. They not only hunt and kill them but also destroy their habitats.
Do Foxes eat foxes? Yes
When you are scratching your head thinking about what to eat foxes, sometimes you do not have to look elsewhere other than among them. Foxes are known to be the most prominent predator of their own. There have been instances where a fox steals a kitten from the fox den for food.
Also, from a tender age, foxes tend to be aggressive towards their siblings in an attempt to establish domicile and eliminate the weak. This sibling rivalry is great that about 20% of the fox kitten ends up dead as a result of aggression they receive from their siblings. On top of being killed, these cubs are eaten by their siblings.
While it is rare to find an animal that kills and eats their own species, it is not unheard of among foxes. During starvation, a fox will do anything, including eating its own species to survive. This brings the concept of survival for the fittest. At this time, adult and strong foxes will tend to hunt and eat the young and weak ones.
By now, you understand what foxes eat. The most surprising thing is that despite being preyed on by numerous wild animals and humans, they are a danger to themselves. The aggression among siblings that begins a few weeks after birth leaves about 20% of the clubs dead and is eaten by their fellow siblings.
Also, foxes cannot starve to death while there is an opportunity of eating their family members. However, of all the fox predators’ humans are the worst enemies as they not only kill them but have destroyed their natural habitat.