What eats a fox? Foxes are preyed upon by animals higher up in the food chain, such as coyotes, mountain lions, and large birds like eagles. Another threat to foxes are humans, who hunt them and destroy their natural habitats.
Foxes from every region in the world have predators that eat them. Whether in the desert or the tundra, a fox must use its skills to survive and move quickly when danger strikes. No one wants to be lunch for a polar bear!
Watch the video! 11 Fox Predators:
The fox has many natural enemies so predators may count on the fox as a source of food or may just kill them out of territorial and animal instinct.
Their size accounts for some of their misfortune, being on the smaller side of most carnivorous mammals and plays a part in what eats a fox.
Either way, it’s dangerous in the wild for animals such as the fox. That’s why we have compiled this list of predator animals who eat foxes.
Fast guide to what Eats a fox
For those of you who need to know, what eats foxes, and why, let us begin.
Do eagles eat foxes? Yes, they do. This may seem absurd, but fox pups also known as kits, younger foxes and even full-size foxes can fall prey to Eagles. Eagles don’t usually go for full-grown prey (although they will) because of the size and weight, but they will carry off a fox pup or young fox.
Eagles are a bird of prey and are very adept at hunting. While they usually eat things like fish and other birds like carrion and ducks, they sometimes will take animals like foxes, break them up into pieces and carry them back to their nests.
Foxes and eagles share territory. That puts foxes in danger when it comes to a large raptor bird like an eagle who has the advantage of striking down on prey from above, and impeccable eyesight.
Eagles hunt in the day and have been known to be used by people in Mongolia to hunt foxes, similar to the way people in the UK and America use hunting dogs.
Another large bird, owls, is the second predator on this list of things that eat foxes. Much like eagles, owls hunt at night, putting them in just the right place at the right time when hunting for smaller nocturnal mammals like foxes.
Owls reside in many places around the world. From North America to Africa and beyond. Foxes have expanded their territories in recent times, the red fox even crossing continents. This makes an owl and fox encounter more prevalent.
Owls are raptors, raptor: meaning to seize or grasp in Latin. This makes owls a vicious opponent when in the wild. They are able to strike fast and hard, grabbing their prey with their sharp talons.
Sometimes however foxes get the jump on birds, like owls and eagles, and at that point, the bird becomes the prey!
One relative to foxes (Canis) that eat foxes are wolves, they are spectacular creatures but also vicious, they have been known to hunt and kill foxes. Even though they share the same species, Canidae (canine) wolves are aggressive apex hunters who will eat when they are hungry.
They hunt in packs and are somewhat opportunistic. While it may be unusual for a pack of wolves to go for such a small animal such as a fox it’s not out of the question. Being much smaller than wolves, but still big enough for a meal, foxes are just the right size for a hungry wolf who hasn’t had a kill.
These wolves can be vicious and although they share traits with foxes, they are very different creatures, having different hunting styles and techniques.
It might seem strange that canids would kill and eat each other but things work differently in the animal world. As you will find from this list there are other canids who eat foxes.
In nature, there are all types of enemies. Some even share the same family species. Foxes and coyotes are natural enemies. For the most part, foxes tend to stay away from the territory of a coyote.
But as the human population grows, pushing animals like coyotes and foxes out of their natural environment and into urban settings has become common, bumping into each other by accident can result in a bloody battle.
Coyotes don’t usually eat foxes, and do not hunt them specifically but if a fox goes into the territory of a coyote it must beware.
Coyotes like many other carnivorous animals in the wild will kill and eat a fox to stay alive.
Other canids that have been known to kill or eat foxes are Jackals, Hyenas, and even wild dogs. What eats foxes? Canids do!
5. Mountain Lions
Do mountain lions eat foxes? Yes, they do. Mountain lions are the first of the big cats on the list that have been known to make a meal out of a fox. Mountain lions are nocturnal hunters like many of the others.
Moving around at night makes a fox an easy kill for larger animals like this who have the strength and speed to deliver a fast-calculated blow.
Mountain lions are ambush predators. When killing they tend to leap onto their prey from a hiding position, delivering a death blow to the neck.
Like foxes, they are also solitary creatures. When they make a kill they will usually drag it to a spot with brush and cover where they can hide it and come back later. They will feed on the same kill multiple times in a day.
In the animal world, bobcats are carnivores and eat all kinds of small animals, such as foxes, raccoons, hawks, and owls. Bobcats eat about three pounds of meat a day, so a fox or a young fox could be just the right size for a bobcat.
They can be shy creatures and usually hide from humans for the most part. Like with most species of animals they are forced out of their comfort zones by human construction and developments.
While it might be rare for bobcats and foxes to run into each other, bobcats do hunt at dusk, putting them a little closer to the hunting and social habits of the fox.
If the territory that a fox resides is suitable for a large cat such as a leopard to live, then there is the threat of a leopard eating a fox. As mentioned large cats eat foxes.
Leopards are one of the bigger cats that kill foxes, and although a fox might not be much of a meal it’s enough to continue the circle of life. Red Foxes can be larger than most other foxes and make a great meal for a large cat such as a leopard.
The animal kingdom can be a brutal place. When a leopard strikes at its prey at least it will be a quick kill. Foxes are quick animals, but leopards are faster. In a battle of a leopard vs a fox, the leopard would win!
You might be wondering, do bears eat foxes? Yes, they do. Bears are large animals that are found in North America and beyond. They live in mountainous regions and even in the northern hemisphere where temperatures get quite cold.
Being such large creatures, one might think, do bears eat foxes? and the answer is yes. It might not be as common but like other carnivores, they are opportunistic and will eat a fox. Even more likely, bears will steal prey from smaller more active predators like foxes.
A bear’s diet is 85% plants but like foxes, they are also omnivores and eat a large variety of food.
If you were chowing down and a bear said hey, let me have that, you would probably hand it right over without much of a fight!
The wolverine is a scavenger hunter, but it will also prey on smaller animals like foxes. These fierce creatures can be considered cruel because they will often wound an animal without killing it and strike at it many times often letting it bleed out.
Like a fox and other animals such as the bear, the wolverine will hide the carcass and return to it several times. It can be a little lazy about it, whereas the fox will hide its kill and bury it, then dig it up and bury it again, just to make sure that it’s there.
They are also known to eat the bones of their kill and will kill more than needed and store it for later. Wolverines are the biggest of the weasel family.
So as you see wolverines aren’t just brutal in comic books, they can be quite brutal in real life as well.
You read that right, foxes eat each other. While it may be rare and happen only in cases of near starvation, it does happen. A fox might steal a pup/kit from another fox den for food.
While fighting amongst each other, foxes being solitary beings, they may fight to the death and then decide to eat the other out of hunger.
There are many conditions that can cause an animal to have to eat another animal of its species to survive in the wild. Mother nature has a strange way of keeping us alive sometimes. Find out more about what foxes eat in our article here.
Last, on the list of fox predators are humans. We have gone over what animals eat a fox, but humans, on the other hand, don’t just eat them (you read that right, foxes are eaten by humans) they also destroy their habitats, hunt them for sport, and trap them for the fur trade.
Humans seem to be one of the fox’s worst enemies. Animals rarely get a chance to meet up with a fox and when doing so they do eat them, but humans being much more populated hunt and kill them at an alarming rate.
Arctic foxes’ numbers have dramatically been reduced due to the fur trade industry.
Another answer to the question of what eats a fox? Humans do. That’s right, for years humans have actually eaten foxes. Native Americans always ate what they killed.
Disease Also Kills Foxes
Many foxes are killed by disease each year. This is usually from things like rabies and mange.
A lot of the times foxes share territory with wild dogs who carry these diseases. Foxes will also feed on shared animal carcasses and road kill which put them at greater risk.
Foxes that get mange die within 3 to 4 months.
A study by BioOne Complete, on diseases, causing death in red foxes in the southern parts of North America, shows that from 1967 to 1995, 65% of red fox disease-related deaths were from mange.
As you now know foxes have many predators and are a food source for quite a few species of animals.
Find out how long foxes live in the wild by reading our article here.
Check out our PAWSOME new collection of Fox Gifts
What eats a red fox? Red foxes are one of the most widely dispersed carnivores on the planet therefore, it is the most preyed upon of the foxes. Red foxes are eaten by bears, mountain lions, and raptors.
What eats a fennec fox? Fennec foxes primarily live in the desert regions of Africa and Arabia. Their biggest natural enemies are Coyotes, hyenas, jackals, and eagle owls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do lions eat foxes, you bet they do! Africa has a few different types of foxes, the red fox is preyed on by lions.
If you have ever wondered if tigers eat foxes, the answer is yes they do. Foxes occupy many parts of Asia and East Asia where tigers are known to hunt.
Badgers have been known to eat foxes, they will enter a fox den looking for fox kits and are vicious carnivores.
Dingos and other wild dogs eat foxes.