No, they are not dangerous to campers and human beings but if they are rabid or have their kits around them then there are chances of them attacking you to protect themselves and their kits.
What Are the Types of Foxes Found in the US?
You may come across the following types of foxes on your camping trip-
1] The Red Fox
2] The Gray Fox
3] The Kit Fox
The red fox is the most common type of fox found in the US and you’re more likely to come across a red fox on your camping trip.
What does a Red Fox Look Like?
Many people mistake a fox for a regular dog and I’ve been there myself but I’ll tell you how to spot a fox just by looking at it.
The best way to identify a fox is by looking at its tail. Foxes have a long (atleast a third of its overall length) tail and it’s thick, furry and fluffy. The tail will look very similar to a feather duster which you use to dust your house.
No doubt the red fox has the same type of tail but what is unique about the red fox is that its tail has a white tip. If you see a white tip then for sure it’s a red fox.
The red fox, as the name sounds, is red but there are other two types of red foxes. They are the silver fox and the cross fox.
Now, both the silver fox and the cross fox are red foxes which means they will have the white tip in their tail but what’s different about them is their body color.
The silver fox’s fur is like ash grey or they could even be entirely black but it’ll definitely have a white tip when you look at their tail.
The cross fox’s fur has a yellowish brown fur. What’s unique about this fox is that it has black strips running down the spine and shoulders.
These are just variations of the red fox. Another variation you may come across is the bastard fox. The bastard fox has both the color of silver and red fox since it is born when the silver fox mates with the red fox.
You’ll mostly come across the red fox as they are found in large numbers across the US followed by the cross fox and lastly by the silver fox.
What Should You Do If You Come Across a Red Fox?
If you’ve come across a healthy red fox minding its own business then let it mind its own business. Red foxes are used to being surrounded by people and rarely attack them. They will usually run away at the sight of people.
They have a natural fear of human beings and are usually just seen scrounging for food. If you have food that is appealing to the red fox then it will follow the smell and come across you. This could be if you’re carrying rabbit meat or chicken meat with you.
It will easily run away if you make loud noises, use a whistle or just throw some stones at them or spray water using a water gun. So if you ever come across a red fox then you don’t have to worry. It’ll flee as it’s their natural tendency.
In rare circumstances, you’ll come across a fox that is rabid or has mange.
How Do You Know If the Fox Is Rabid or Has Mange?
It is rare that you’ll come across a fox that is rabid but if you do you’ll find that it looks very sick. You’ll find that it is rocking and drooling. You may find it to be aggressive or even mutilating itself.
If the fox has mange then you’ll find the fox has hair loss across their body. Mange is caused by parasites known as the Sarcoptes Scabiei. They feed on the foxes skin and cause severe hair loss and irritation to the foxes in advanced stages and ultimately death. It is a treatable condition and it would be ideal to report it.
Since the fox is showing some of the same symptoms you are less likely to know if the fox is rabid or has mange. In both cases, the fox shows fearless behavior and may just attack you.
If you come across a rabid fox it’s best to let it be and not approach it. You should contact the local authorities and let them know at once.
In the event that the fox attacks you then you’ll have to attack back. The red fox is small in size and you can survive the attack by attacking it. Use whatever means you have at the time to attack it and protect yourself.
What to Do If You’re Bitten by a Rabid Fox?
You’ll no doubt have wounds that will need to be treated. The first step is to clean the wounded area with soap and water.
The strain of the virus present in the rabid fox has rarely ever been transmitted to a human in the US. So the wound is treatable and you can prevent the transmission of the disease if treatment is given quickly.
Please contact the local authorities immediately so you can be treated at once.