The red fox, which is about as large as a slender, small dog, has rusty-red fur and a long, bushy tail. It has a keen sense of smell and can run with speed and agility. It is traditionally believed to exercise much cunning in catching prey and in eluding its pursuers. For centuries the red fox has been hunted for sport in England and other European countries because its speed and wiles make it difficult to catch. The red fox is native to most parts of United States, Canada, Alaska, Europe, and Siberia and to some parts of China and northern Africa. However, man has either eliminated it or greatly decreased its numbers in many regions. Its habitat is both forests and unforested regions with sufficient vegetation to conceal it from enemies. Mated red foxes may live together for life. The young are reared until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
The gray fox has grayish fur, and its body, legs, and tail are longer than those of the red fox. Native only to North America, the gray fox formerly occupied the territory between the Canadian border and the Panama Canal, but in many regions man has either eliminated it or greatly decreased its numbers. It is not thought to be as intelligent or cunning as the red fox. The gray fox can climb trees when pursued.
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