Dog And Fox Show At Yosemite National Park

National Park Service photo via Jason Reed.

Yosemite National Park officials found quite a striking scene of a coyote carryjng away a fox after a successful hunt (see above photo courtesy of Jason Reed).

Here’s a Facebook post from the National Park Service:

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! This coyote (Canis latrans) was spotted in Yosemite Valley last week with a fresh catch of a gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) in its maw.

Coyotes and foxes compete for the same prey throughout the year, primarily the small rodents that populate the meadows and forest floor. During the winter, however, such prey finds greater protection under the snow, either staying completely in their burrows or constructing new tunnels through it. While coyotes are known to collapse these snow tunnels to trap and eat the rodents within, the increased difficulty in hunting can push both them and foxes onto other foodstuffs, including plant matter and even insects. In this competition, though, the coyote has one additional advantage. It’s big enough to hunt the foxes as well. 

Because of this, gray foxes tend to avoid coyotes, instead sticking to areas with denser shrubs or trees, where their sharp claws can allow a quick escape into the brush or up a trunk. Not fast enough, it seems this time.

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