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Coyote? Fox? Red Wolf? What Did We See?

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Coyote? Fox? Red Wolf? What Did We See?

Postby Wyne » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:56 pm

We live in rural Eastern Ontario about 10 miles north of the St. Lawrence River. This morning at about 9 AM, while walking our dog in a field on our property, I spotted an animal running across the field into the trees. It was similar in color to a red fox(very reddish) but darker and more stripy or brindled. It was also much larger. I estimate about 20-24 inches in height and around 30-40 lbs in weight. It bounded through the long grass much like a deer does and carried its tail straight out behind it. The tail was very long and very bushy and was white-tipped with a narrow band of black separating the white tip from the rest of the brindled red tail. Because it was running away from me at an angle I could not see chest coloring. It had large pointed erect ears. At the same time that I  was spotting this animal, my husband was seeing another one in another field beside our house and it was running toward the field that I was in. He confirmed my description and estimates only he felt that the one he saw was taller and heavier than my sighting. We both felt that they were likely hunting as a pair. My most likely guess would be coyote except for the white tip on the tail.
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Coyote? Fox? Red Wolf? What Did We See?

Postby Alejandro » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:18 pm

Dear Linda

Thanks for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

Four species of wild dogs live in the Ontario area: the wolf, coyote, red fox and grey fox. Of these, the wolf is too big for the description you gave, as the average weight is about 80 lb. http://www.essortment.com/all/coyoteanimal_rmnz.htm says the coyote weighs about 50 lb, but holds its tail straight down. http://www.answers.com/topic/gray-fox-1 says the grey fox is 7-13 lb, which seems much too light for the animal you saw.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_fox says that the red fox can weigh up to 30 lb and tends to be larger in Canada than in the USA. It can also vary in colour and have some striping. It also has a bushier tail and is more reddish than the coyote. I reckon that you saw a colour variant of the red fox, but I advise that you look at various websites and books to see colour variations of the wild dogs in the Ontario area to make sure.

All the best

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