When I was out shooting cherry blossoms last weekend, I came across some fox pups living under a porch. They were a ball of energy and so adorable. Fox pups are also known as kits or cubs.
It was hard to count the number because they were so balled up together, but I could tell there were six of them. One was off to the side eating what appeared to be a bird.
I figured these pups were at least eight weeks old because their coats had become largely adult in color and their faces were adult in proportion.
The pups began breaking off individually or in pairs for their own pursuits. These two had been wrestling and when one reared back, I was struck by the black caps on its paws.
This little one ran around a tree and looked right at me. What beautiful eyes it has!
The fox continued on until it found a hole it was starting to explore, perhaps for food, such as worms or insects. The pups are still dependent on their mother for milk and other small mammals and birds.
Speaking of the mother, known as a vixen, I wondered where she was. She hadn’t put in an appearance yet and I was surprised at the independence she was giving the pups. I had a clue where she might be when the pups entered what I suspect was their den under the porch.
Having been a dog owner and lover my whole life, I was amazed at how similar the behavior of these pups were to my dogs’ behaviors, such as how they induce play. No wonder, both foxes and domestic dogs belong to the same biological family, The Caninae, more commonly known as canines.
Much of the play of both species is also about establishing a dominance hierarchy, which happens within seven or eight weeks of age.
It was time for me to move on, but it was sure a joy to watch these young fox pups play and explore the world they were living in.