Foxes will do anything to avoid conflict with humans – preferring to run instead of fight. However, if cornered, trapped, or held they can become dangerous.
How Often Do Foxes Attack Humans?
The vast majority of foxes don’t come anywhere near humans if they can help it. They are generally nocturnal and most species live far from humans. However, a growing number are being forced to live in urban areas, and close encounters are becoming more common.
Usually, foxes are just looking for food or a place to sleep for the day – but if they see or hear humans – they will leave as fast as possible. If food is around within easy reach – they may well become quite habituated to the people feeding it and can come quite close to individuals to do so. However, any attempt to approach or stroke a fox usually sends it packing. Flight – rather than fight – is certainly a fox’s most often used trick.
There are videos online of foxes entering houses and being found on sofas, browsing the bowls of cat food on the side, or sleeping in beds. Foxes brought up in urban areas can certainly be very bold – and often take an open door and interesting smells in our homes as an open invite.
There also are plenty of stories of foxes being found in children’s bedrooms – or babies being attacked by foxes – but most of these incidents are believed by specialists to be domestic dogs and cats rather than foxes. Experts say that foxes just don’t have it in them to actively attack a human or sleeping child – but often the cause is never fully established.
Are Foxes Dangerous If Cornered?
Just like any wild animal that is cornered and beyond escape – it may well lash out. With very sharp teeth and claws – an agile fox could inflict some damage if you got into a squabble with one. About the size of a medium dog – but much more flexible and athletic – a fox can bounce off walls and twist in ways you wouldn’t think possible from playing with your pet dog. Perhaps think of them as giant cats before getting into an altercation with one?
They also won’t have the inhibitions and expectations of a dog – so whereas a simple lost dog might just wander into a room if you herd it with a cushion, or cower if you go to grab it – thinking it has been naughty or that it might get some food. However, a wild fox will assume that you are going to kill it – and so will be in no way thinking that you are doing these things to help them. It is do or die in their mind.
Many wildlife catchers have had altercations with foxes during various rescues and captures – but many will not come out to help an injured fox if you can’t get close enough to it to touch in with a long pole. They know that unless it is ill enough to be prodded – they won’t catch it easily. These little vulpines are certainly a wily critter – even when injured.
You really wouldn’t think this having seen them playing on your garden trampoline or chasing tennis balls you’d left out for the dogs…
Are Rhinos Dangerous and Do They Attack Humans?
Rhinos and human encounters can be risky, as these massive creatures possess great strength and can charge aggressively when feeling threatened. While they are generally peaceful, incidents of rhino attacks have been reported. Caution and maintaining a safe distance are key to avoiding potentially dangerous situations when encountering rhinos in the wild.
Do Foxes Have Rabies?
In places where rabies is commonly found – foxes can carry it. It is a viral disease that is carried by mammals – mostly wild mammals. And this includes foxes.
Foxes can catch rabies from the saliva of other animals they encounter or eat – although they aren’t one of the main vectors. Foxes can still succumb to rabies though and they will display all the usual symptoms if infected:
- Movement – staggering around, appearing drunk, circling or displaying limb paralysis
- Behaviour – being overly-friendly or approaching humans
- Physical – salivating, making strange noises or growling at nothing
Luckily the strain of rabies that foxes most often carry isn’t responsible for many human infections – and if reported immediately and treated as a matter of urgency – the treatment is 100% effective.
Similarly with your cats and dogs – get them vaccinated if you feel they are at risk themselves as the fox variant is just as risky for them also. Treatment for pets – or humans – after the symptoms begin doesn’t work – so this is a real plan-ahead moment.