"Pet" gray fox on the loose in Troy

gray fox us fwsWeird: we came across an item on Craigslist this week for a lost "pet" fox in the Troy area. And though the gray fox has "a collar and tags and is up to date on all her shots," according to the listing, there was a warning that it had been trying to "play" with other pets and ended up getting into fights. The fox is apparently not afraid of people.

So we contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation to see if they'd heard anything about this. From DEC spokesman Rick Georgeson:

We are aware of this animal which is running loose with a collar and tags in the vicinity of RPI. If the animal is caught it will be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator and the owner will be ticketed, if he can be found. It is illegal to keep wild animals as pets without a permit and DEC has no permits on file for this animal.
People should either call 911 [if fox is sighted] and they will contact us or they can call the DEC dispatch at 1-877-457-5680.

The photo on the right is US Fish and Wildlife Service pic of a gray fox. (It's not the gray fox in Troy.)

A fox is a fox
Foxes may look like dogs -- but no matter how you raise a fox, it will still be a fox -- that is, a wild animal. There's a fascinating NOVA episode about dogs -- called "Dogs Decoded" (it's on Netflix streaming) -- that highlights how far removed modern dogs are from their wild cousins . The episode includes a look at a long running study of fox domestication in Siberia, as well as researchers who have tried raising wolf pups like dogs at home. The short story: foxes and wolves are not dogs -- they don't read humans the same way, and they're aggressive.

photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

Comments

Hmmm....there appears to be a dead fox on the side of I-90 E out past the East Greenbush exits (but before exit 12). I won't be out that way again until Monday but if I am I'll try to better pinpoint the location (assuming it isn't cleared away by then) and give the DEC a call.

> The short story: foxes and wolves are not dogs-- they don't read humans the same way, and they're aggressive.

I dare you not to pet this though:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1G2yZMUNUQ

That episode of NOVA is really fascinating. It also talks about how domesticated dogs have evolved to bond with humans using the same hormones that are generated after sex, childbirth, etc. Crazy stuff. It is why the therapy dog movement has been such a successful venture - dog cuddles generate endorphins, and endorphins have healing properties.

Also, the fox study is fascinating too, as they think they've found the "domestication" genetic sequence in wolves, and the study has copied it to foxes. However, what they also found was, the now "domesticated" foxes are, well, no longer foxes. It is, in essence, a different species, separate from dogs (which were evolved from wolves).

Sorry to digress, but I am so glad you posted that link - it is my favorite NOVA to date, and I think everyone should watch it, especially dog lovers. :)

I saw the fox!! last weekend on burdett. I was very close to it on foot, saw (and heard) the tags. It was in my friend's front yard, crossed the street slowly and wandered down the sidewalk and into the Troy High parking lot. I couldn't believe it!

I heard an interview with a woman who tried domesticating raccoons. She said that there's always a wild instinct fighting in there- if you pet them it's "Ohhh.....nice.......mmmmm.....MUST BITE! MUST BITE!"

Then again, I had a cat who was the sweetest creature ever, unless you touched a certain spot on his tail- then he'd scratch your face off.

I wonder if this is the same animal that has been spotted all over the Eastside. I saw it on Pinewood Ave at about 5am while I was walking my dog.

Saw the fox about a half hour ago! It walked down federal and took a left unto 5th.

We saw the fox, too. Never dreamed of calling 911 after calling them several years ago to report an obviously rabid fox that was foaming at the mouth and walking like a drunken sailor around our neighborhood in Brunswick. The 911 operator scolded me for calling and wondered how I could possibly know it was rabid.

the cover story of the march 2011 issue of national geographic was about animal domestication. the cover actually pictured a fox. here is a link to the article about a "fox farm" in Siberia if anyone is interested... they have been attempting to breed them for domestication for many years now, re-creating the evolution of wolves into dogs

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/taming-wild-animals/ratliff-text/1

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Albany All Stars Roller Derby has a new home

The Albany All Stars Roller Derby launches into its 10th season April 15 -- at.a new home. The All Stars are moving to the new... (more)

Saratoga County ranked as the "healthiest" county in New York State

Saratoga County is the "healthiest" county in the New York State, according to rankings out this week from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Specifically, Saratoga... (more)

Air taxi

Gondola lift from the train station to downtown Albany? Pfft. Small scale. An "entrepreneur in residence" at Binghamton University is floating the idea of an... (more)

Albany County Land Bank buyer workshops

The Albany County Land Bank has a few workshops coming up for people who might interested in buying one of its properties. Blurbage: In this... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: hope and optimism, forming a new bond, parking around Lark Street,... (more)

Recent Comments

I went to one last month. My friend took his oath of citizenship. It is a great ceremony. A local school choir sang. There was a moving speech from one of the new citizens who grew up a refugee and at the age of 21 was finally a citizen of a country for the first time in her life. The League of Women Voters give warm welcomes, flags and voter registration cards to all the new citizens. It gave me such warm fuzzies. Everyone should try to go to one of these if they get the chance.

Albany All Stars Roller Derby has a new home

...has 1 comment, most recently from Anthony

Today in America

...has 8 comments, most recently from Greg

WHAT? (airplane flies overhead)

...has 6 comments, most recently from Greg

Albany County Land Bank buyer workshops

...has 1 comment, most recently from Schenectady

A look at the plan for new bus and pedestrian amenities at Lark and Washington in Albany

...has 11 comments, most recently from Silvia M Lilly