Darlin’ Cory, as some of you musical folks may recall, is the title of an old traditional American folk song. It is also now the name of our sweet little girl red fox who arrived in February 2017 to make her permanent home at Wildworks. Delivered to us by Fish and Wildlife officer Kory Collins, we picked what we think to be an appropriate name!
She doesn’t look red, does she? Although her species is red fox, Cory is a Fox of a different color. Her black and white marbled coat makes her look similar to an arctic fox but is a result of captive breeding and is not a color seen in the wild. We think she is just beautiful and she has a very interesting and not so pleasant backstory to tell.
She was discovered accidentally when Animal Services responded to a report of dog abuse at a home in El Monte. A poor dog, who had his mouth and paws duct-taped (can you believe it??) was spotted in a backyard and after taking care of that problem, the officer noticed an unusual animal in a cage inside the house. Although she looked sort of dog-like they thought it just might be a fox so they called in Fish and Wildlife to check it out. The “owners” had paperwork stating that she was a dog recently imported from China but photos on the internet of marbled foxes gave her away. Unlike their wolf and coyote relatives foxes cannot crossbreed with dogs so we knew she was definitely not a hybrid.
There are also several characteristics that separate a fox from a dog, One is their behavior. Cory is just under a year old and she must have been raised with dogs because when she met our Aussies, Star and Sky, she rolled on her back wiggling, her tail a wagging blur, while emitting the famous fox scream. But the unmistakable difference between a dog, a wolf, a coyote and a red fox is the smell. Boy are they stinky!! They emit an odor when excited or mad that is similar to that of a skunk and if they are inside the house you definitely know it!!
You can look forward to meeting Cory and her dog friends in upcoming wildlife educational programs or on a tour of our Wildworks facility. See you soon!