The sign at the Grand Teton National Park visitors center says that the red fox is shy, reclusive and seldom seen. Maybe in the back country that’s true, but they seem to have learned to exploit living at the campgrounds in and around the park. The first fox I saw was trotting along the sidewalk mid-afternoon with something in its mouth. I grabbed my camera and ran to the window to get a few pictures before she disappeared. I watched her bury her cache behind my cabin.
She trotted back the way she came and returned again. It turns out I needn’t hurry to grab a picture or even worry about spooking her. She was well-used to all the people that come and go here. She used the sidewalks through the meadow to hunt voles as people sat on their porches, walked by or excitedly took her picture (me!). She didn’t care about any of it.
The manager said he thought there were 2 or 3 foxes that called Dornan’s Cabins home. He’s seen them work with the ravens to get food scraps out of the garbage bins behind the nearby restaurant. Although they didn’t approach people outside, it was apparent to me that they get fed by people when this face peered in the patio door one evening at dinner time. The foxes have learned to exploit us to feed themselves but when people feed the foxes, we are exploiting them.
Every time I came “home” to the cabin I looked for my resident foxes. They were never far and I usually caught a glimpse of them busily making a living. In a magical place like the Tetons, they really stand out. Part kitten, part dog…everyone should have a camp fox waiting at their door.