Is a fox that is active during the daytime sick or rabid?

Because they are crepuscular animals (animals that are active in the early hours of darkness and early morning), seeing a fox during the day can raise concern or even fear. So the general question becomes is it sick?

Do not be alarmed
No, it’s not necessarily sick. Although they rarely come out during the day, the need for survival can push them to come out during the day especially if the last hunt was not successful. Remember;

• The smell of food can easily lure a fox out of its den especially when hungry.
• Because they live among people, some have come to associate people with the availability of food, especially if there are people who feed them. So you may see one that may even approach you hoping to get some food.

They can exhibit strange behavior
During the mating season, foxes can become territorial taking more risks than they usually do. In this period they may get a little bit more reckless and even come out during the day. The period between December and February is their time to mate and you may therefore see some during the day as they look for mates. However, seeing a fox during the day can also be an indication that it is sick and confused. You may therefore need to look out for signs of illness in the animal even before it gets close to you. Things like physical injury, vomiting or diarrhea should ring an alarm bell in you and you can humanely trap it and send it to the wildlife control offices in your areas. You need to be very careful when doing this as you do not know what’s wrong.

They are afraid of people
Due to their solitary nature, foxes are generally afraid of people and will not easily come out when there are people around. Should you see one and are afraid and want to chase him/her away, all you need is;

• Throw things in their direction (making sure not to hurt them).
• Make loud noises.
• Pour water at them using a hose pipe or sprinkler system.

In general
Seeing an occasional fox in the open during the day should not throw you in a panic. The truth is it is afraid of you and will probably run away soon as it sees you. However this is not a greenlight to approach it, as it could be highly charged looking for a mate or as suspected sick or rabid.

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