Foxes are among the smallest animals among carnivores. Unfortunately, they have many natural enemies too who they easily fall prey.
Most of their predators are animals that are higher in the food chain, such as mountain lions, coyotes, humans, and big birds.
Foxes, unlike their relatives, are not pack animals. Otherwise, they hunt and sleep by themselves.
Unlike other members of the Canidae family, foxes are lone animals, and they hardly walk in packs.
This makes them an easy target for bigger animals that count on them as a source of food or predators who kill them out of animal instinct.
Humans are the primary predators of adult foxes, frequently hunted for their fur or killed since they are considered pests.
The following are 9 biggest predators for foxes.
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1. Mountain Lions
Mountain lions are among the Felidae family’s large cats known to hunt foxes.
They are mostly found in North America, with populations ranging from California to South America and Canada. Mountain lions are ambush predators who hunt in the dark.
They usually jump onto their target from a concealed posture and administer a fatal neck strike when they kill, rendering them ambush predators.
Lions are carnivores, which means they devour a variety of animals. Lions will eat anything with flesh on it, including birds.
As already established, lions are nocturnal hunters, and since foxes scavenge for food at night, they become easy prey for mountain lions.
Additionally: Foxes are a direct rival of mountain lions since they may hunt smaller animals like rabbits and rodents. As a result, mountain lions hunt them down to remove competition.
Leopards are among the big cats that prey on foxes.
Some foxes, such as the red fox, may grow large enough to provide an excellent feast for a leopard. It provides a meal big enough to continue the circle of life.
When a leopard attacks its prey, it makes a rapid kill. Leopards outrun foxes in terms of speed, agility, and strength.
For little creatures at the bottom of the food chain, such as foxes, the animal kingdom may be a harsh place to survive and raise their young.
Bobcats are most active at dawn and dusk, as do most felines.
They emerge from their caves when it is fairly dark to stalk and hunt their prey. They often awaken before sundown, hunt, and then go to sleep.
They are up and hunting again before daylight. These hunting habits of the bobcat increase their chances of bumping into foxes as it puts them closer to the social habits of the latter.
Bobcats employ ambush tactics to catch their prey.
They have excellent hearing and vision, especially in low light. They traverse their designated zone regularly, listening and monitoring for tiny creatures.
When the bobcat hears or sees anything, it will stop in place and wait for the animal to emerge from the grass or shrubbery.
The bobcat then pounces on the prey, pins it with its paw, and bites its neck.
Besides foxes, bobcats also devour other small animals, the likes of hawks, raccoons, and owls.
Bobcats consume around three pounds of flesh each day; therefore, a fox or even a young one would suffice.
Modern coyotes have demonstrated their ingenuity by adapting to the changing American terrain.
These dog family members inhabited largely open grasslands and deserts but now wander the continent’s woods and mountains.
They have even colonized places such as Los Angeles and may now be found throughout North America.
There are several forms of foes in nature. Some even belong to the same family species. Foxes and coyotes are natural adversaries.
Naturally, foxes avoid coyotes at all costs and run for their lives if at all they bump into each other.
While coyotes rarely consume foxes, they displace them at the first opportunity.
Coyotes are carnivorous animals, so they will kill their competitors to minimize competition while still obtaining food when there is food scarcity.
In Such Cases: Young foxes and small-sized adult-like foxes are more likely to be killed and devoured by coyotes.
Wolves are the strongest canids globally and are primarily located at the top of the Northern hemisphere.
These areas are extremely cold, and they are only likely to encounter red foxes, which grow an extra covering of fur throughout the winter.
Wolves are a relative of foxes that devour foxes; they are magnificent creatures but extremely vicious, but because they are higher in the food chain than foxes, they are among other creatures that consume foxes.
While both animals hunt, the wolf is bigger and stealthier than the fox, and it can easily overcome the fox in the appropriate scenario.
Wolves do not prefer to pursue foxes as food, but if they are starving, they will eat foxes to survive.
While it is unusual to discover an animal that murders and consumes its own kind, it is not unheard of with foxes.
To live during the famine, a fox would do anything to survive, including devouring its kind. This introduces the idea of survival of the fittest.
Mature and powerful foxes will hunt and consume the young and weak foxes at this time of year.
Several factors might force an animal to devour another animal of its species to make it in the wild. Mother Nature has an odd way of keeping animals alive at times.
Foxes are violent against their siblings from a young age to create a domicile and eradicate the weak.
Did You Know? Because foxes are solitary creatures, they may fight to the death and then devour the other out of hunger.
Birds Of Prey
Eagles are large birds with razor-sharp beaks.
These birds are particularly symbolic to humanity in the sense that they are the topic of a variety of human-essential ideas.
The bulk of these birds lives in Africa and Eurasia. There are two species in the United States and Canada, three in Australia, and nine in Central and South America.
Eagles are higher up the food chain than foxes.
Furthermore, these birds are carnivorous, which means they will seek and kill any animal that comes within their range.
They have a strong vision and can view the ground well from a great height, allowing them to sweep their prey up quickly before they notice danger.
Normally, eagles do not target adult foxes because of their size and weight, so they usually hunt young foxes.
Large Raptor birds, such as Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks, are notorious for preying on animals; they also have the added benefit of attacking from above, which comes off as ambush to the unsuspecting foxes.
Bears are big mammals found across North America and beyond.
They reside in hilly areas and even in the northern hemisphere, where temperatures drop to freezing.
Bears are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. They are also opportunistic feeders, which means that if they come along a fox, they will most likely devour it.
Despite their size, they will hunt on foxes when it becomes difficult to grab a larger animal since they are easier to catch.
However, it is more probable that a bear will grab the smaller prey from a hunting fox than consume the fox.
Humans appear to be one of the fox’s most dangerous adversaries.
They hunt and kill foxes at an astonishing speed using their sophisticated tools. Also, this usually happens when the foxes trespass into human territory.
Hunting, a human activity established to reduce dangers to livestock and other agricultural animals, has led to an increase in fox mortality.
Humans kill foxes for their fur, skin meat, and coat for commerce.
Big Problem: Humans have continued to degrade foxes’ native habitat via agricultural operations, leaving them vulnerable to other predators higher up the food chain.
Sport hunting has led to the decline of fox populations in several world regions.
Humans are killing foxes at an increasing pace. As a result, they are foxes’ deadliest opponent. Not only do they hunt and kill them, but they also ruin their habitats.
Mountain lions are the first of the big cats on the list to have been observed eating a fox.
A fox’s ability to move around at night makes it an ideal target for larger creatures with the power and speed to execute a quick, targeted strike.
Bears do consume foxes occasionally, although not as frequently as you may think.