Foxes Don’t Kill for Fun

Predators kill so they can eat, not just for the pleasure of killing.

A common myth about foxes suggests that they are ruthless murderers who kill other animals just for fun. This is not true of foxes or any other predator. Hunting takes a lot of energy and can leave an animal susceptible to injury by prey, so no animal chooses to do it “for fun.”

Of course, you’ve likely heard of— or witnessed— “henhouse syndrome,” more scientifically known as surplus killing. Foxes do, in times of abundance and ease, kill more animals than they can eat in one sitting. Though it may look like they’re killing excessively for no reason, their intent isn’t to abandon these “extra” kills. In nature, excess prey is either buried or hidden for later use, or is used to feed hungry family members. Male foxes, in particular, often kill extra prey that they plan to bring back to their nursing mates and kits.

If you own livestock, it’s important to keep them properly secured. This is important to protect them from not only foxes, but also coyotes, skunks, bobcats, feral cats, stray dogs, raccoons, and the many other animals that will eagerly accept easy, unsecured prey. But don’t hate animals for hunting to feed their families.

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