Believe it or not, there are two species of foxes that live in Arkansas: the gray fox and the red fox.
Arkansas is full of surprises and most surprising of all are the wild animals that live here. Arkansas is home to alligators, bears, coyotes, snakes and just about any insect you can think up. However, many people might not realize that there are also foxes in Arkansas.
Speaking of foxes, there is even a Fox, Arkansas! (And plenty of other weird Arkansas town names.)
There are 37 species of foxes in the world but only 12 of them are “true foxes.”
In Arkansas, you will find two “true foxes.” They are the gray fox and the red fox.
Since these animals are so intriguing, let’s talk about where they live, what they look like and what your chances are of spotting one.
Fox Sightings in Arkansas
Fox sightings are most prevalent in the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest. Foxes tend to be skittish, so if you spot one, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. People who live in those areas tend to spot them as the foxes are frolicking in their backyards or tending to their young.
Generally, if a fox sees you, it will run away. So, if you want to observe them for a while, be sure to stay out of sight!
Gray Foxes and Red Foxes: How To Tell The Difference
Many people often confuse Gray Foxes and Red Foxes because Red Foxes can have patches of gray fur and Gray Foxes can have patches of red fur.
However, “The surefire way to tell the difference is to look for the color at the tip of the tail. Gray foxes have black-tipped tails, while red fox tails are white.”source
Arkansas Gray Fox
The most mysterious looking of the two Arkansas fox species is the Gray Fox. When most people picture a fox, they envision red fur. However, not all foxes are red!
This fox is sometimes confused by amateurs to be a coyote because of the color of it’s coat.
The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), is an omnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, widespread throughout North America and Central America. The gray fox is mainly distinguished from most other canids by its grizzled upper parts, black stripe down its tail and strong neck, ending in a black-tipped tail, while the skull can be easily distinguished from all other North American canids by its widely separated temporal ridges that form a ‘U’-shape.source
Interesting Gray Fox fact: Gray foxes can climb trees! This ability helps them to escape from predators and find food.
Read all about them here: Gray Foxes in Arkansas: Tree Climbing Wonders
Arkansas Red Fox
The Arkansas Red Fox has that classic red coat that so many people recognize. Many Arkansans have walked up on Red Foxes while hiking or have spotted them napping in their backyards.
Did you know: Unlike the Gray Fox, Red Foxes cannot climb trees but they can jump high!
Red foxes can jump up to six feet in the air, using their long and bushy tail for balance. They can clear high walls and fences and can leap from branch to branch instead of traditional climbing.source
You may also be wondering: Are Red Foxes Protected In Arkansas?
Have you ever thought of having a fox as a pet? You won’t want to miss this:
Are Pet Foxes Legal In Arkansas?