Sterling (California Gray Fox)

Urocyon cinereoargenteus


Description: SterlingTwo of our permanent residents are California Gray Foxes.   These foxes are unusual because they are capable of climbing trees and unfortunately henhouse fences.  They are smaller than the red fox found in the Midwest and east coast, but are larger than the endangered kit fox.  Fox are especially shy and timid in the wild and so you might not see them as often as you will their bolder cousin the coyote.  Gray foxes are most easily distinguished from the kit fox by the black strip that runs the length of the top of their tail while the kit fox only has a black tipped tail.


A family who had handled him for weeks brought Sterling to Critter Creek in the spring of 2009.  He was very habituated to people and despite our efforts to put him with other, wilder young gray foxes, he never lost his tameness making it necessary to keep him.  He gets along well with our shy gray fox, Shadow.  They share Fox Haven and Sterling is always easy to spot since he lives on the platform in the bough of the tree, scurrying down at the first hint of attention.