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Wild Women: Foxes in Arkansas

The Natural State is home to two different species of these furry animals.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - There's lots of wild animals to be found all over Arkansas from bears and deer to all kinds of birds and other critters.

You'll also find foxes in the Natural State.

There are two species living in Arkansas: the gray fox and the red fox.

Most experts say the gray fox (Urocyon Cinereoargenteus) is the only fox that is very good at climbing trees. Because of its astounding tree-climbing abilities, it is sometimes also called the "tree fox." When a gray fox is climbing a tree, its front paws grip on to the branches to hold on, and its back paws push. Curved claws help it hang on to trees as well. It may hide in an empty nest of a crow or hawk when it senses danger.

Although tree climbing shields this amazing fox from dogs, it unfortunately may make it an easy target for fox hunters. Some gray foxes even live in hollow limbs of oak trees.

Unlike the red fox, this fox prefers living in areas with dense cover, such as a deep forest. Gray foxes use dens all year long. They will dig their own dens if they have to, but if they have a choice, they prefer vacant dens built by some other animal, and deepen it by a few feet.

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), is a small, thickly-furred mammal of the family Canidae, which in addition to foxes, includes dogs, coyotes, and wolves. There is much color variation within the red fox species; black, brown or silver individuals are not unusual, but red is the most prevalent color. Red foxes usually have black paws, black behind the large, upright ears, a bit of blackish coloring around the muzzle. A lighter or white coloration occurs on the underside of the throat, down the chest, and under the torso. The red color is purest from the top of the head to the middle of the back and on the hind legs. The red fox has a lustrous, long fur coat and a large, bushy tail that may be spotted black, yellow or gray, and can be tipped in white or black. Foxes with white-tipped tails are found in greater numbers in dry, sandy regions.
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