Ezo Red Fox

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Ezo Red Fox

Ezo Red FoxOriginal.png

キタキツネ
Character Data
AKA Sakhalin Red Fox, Hokkaidō Red Fox, Kitakitsune
Romaji Kita Kitsune
Debut Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name Vulpes vulpes schrencki
Distribution Hokkaidō, Sakhalin, Southern Kuril Islands
Diet Omnivore
Avg. Lifespan 2-4 years
Read More Ezo red fox
Conservation Status iucn3.1 LC.svg.png

Ezo Red Fox's Merchandise

Ezo Red Fox Anime Season 2 Manga Festival​ (Costume)​ Pavilion​ (Gen 2)​ KF3​ (V2)​ Kingdom Nexon Game Stage Play Gallery

The Ezo Red Fox is a mammalian Friend species that has appeared in nearly all Kemono Friends media to date.

Not to be confused with Red Fox.

Appearance

Ezo Red Fox has ankle length blonde hair that fades to white past her shoulders, with bangs that descend to dark brown at the ends. She has two fox ears atop her head which are depicted without openings and share the color of her hair until the middle to the tips, where they are dark brown. Her eyes are orange.

She wears a cream scarf tied into a bow that completely covers her neck. She is dressed in a two-button orange blazer stitched with an outer breast pocket and two adjacent front pocket flaps near the hips. The sleeves of the blazer are stitched with fuzzy black cuffs. Partially covered by her blazer is a half pleated cream colored skirt, exposed only on the pleated end. Underneath she wears a white dress shirt with short, pale orange sleeves and a breast pocket as well as a matching light orange flat ended tie. She also wears skin tight black gloves, the sleeves of which extend to the underneath of her shirt, and cream orange-white gradient tights. As footwear, she sports a pair of very dark brown penny loafers.

Ezo Red Fox also has a rather bushy, mid-sized brown tail that is tipped in a darker brown color.

Series Appearances

Appearances In Kemono Friends Media
Media Role First Appearance
2015Nexon Game Minor character, obtainable
2015Kemono Friends: Welcome to Japari Park! DeuteragonistChapter 1 (Manga)
2017Kemono Friends (2017 Anime) Major characterS1E09: Snowy Mountains Area
2018Kemono Friends Pavilion Minor character, observable (Normal + Gen 2)
2018Kemono Friends Festival Minor character, obtainable
2018Kemono Friends PicrossMimamori Friend; also has playable puzzle
2018Stage Play "Kemono Friends 2" ~Kemonos of the Snowy Night~ Major character
2019Kemono Friends 2 CameoS2E09: Welcome Home
2019Kemono Friends 3 Minor character
2019Kemono Friends 3: Planet Tours WIP
2022Kemono Friends Kingdom Major character, obtainable

In Real Life

The Ezo red fox is a red fox subspecies native to the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the Russian island of Sakhalin and the disputed Kuril Islands of Kunashiri and Etorofu. It also inhabits the Japanese prefectures of Chiba and Saitama as an invasive species. The Ezo red fox was studied on Sakhalin in 1924 by Kyukichi Kishida, who gave the fox its formal Japanese name, Kitakitsune. The “Ezo” in Ezo red fox comes from its Hokkaido range, which was known as Ezo until 1869.

In a winter study of their diets, Ezo red foxes living in Hokkaido were found to eat red-backed voles and fish as their main prey. Other prey animals included mountain hares, long-clawed shrews, small livestock such as chickens, and a variety of other bird species. These foxes are omnivorous, and as such will also consume plant matter; the aforementioned study observed potatoes, beets, berries, and dead grass in the diets of studied foxes, with the latter-most item composing 61% of plant matter consumed. Ezo red foxes living in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko National Park are known to seek food given to them by tourists as a secondary source of sustenance, especially when little natural prey is available.

Ezo red foxes tend to mate from late January to mid-February. Once a pair of Ezo foxes have copulated, they will dig a tunnel den into sloped ground, commonly around a clearing in a wooded area, in which to raise their kits. Some Ezo foxes have been known to make dens out of man-made structures such as deserted houses. Pregnant Ezo fox vixens give birth around late March to late April, and the den period usually lasts until June.

An Ezo red fox laying in the snow in Hokkaido.

As an invasive species in the Chiba and Saitama prefectures, the Ezo red fox is in direct competition for food and territory with the regionally-native Japanese red fox (Vulpes vulpes japonica). Ezo red foxes are also common carriers of the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, which can be spread to the region's native animals, including its native foxes. There is also a risk of the Ezo red fox and Japanese red fox undergoing hybridization, should the populations interbreed, which could threaten the existence of the latter as a unique species.

Trivia

  • An Ezo red fox family living in Hokkaido is the primary subject of the 1978 Japanese nature documentary film Kita-kitsune Monogatari, directed by Japanese director Koreyoshi Kurehara and narrated by Japanese actor Eiji Okada. An English localization of the film, called The Glacier Fox, was released in the U.S. the following year, narrated by Canadian actor Arthur Hill.

References

  • Abe Hisashi, “Winter Food of the Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes schrencki KISHIDA (Carnivora : Canidae), in Hokkaido, with Special Reference to Vole Populations”, Applied Entomology and Zoology, 1975, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 40-51, Released February 07, 2008, https://doi.org/10.1303/aez.10.40, Accessed on 18th, January, 2018.
  • Sayaka Shimoinaba, Masatoshi Yasuda, “The first mammalogical society in Japan and the two pioneer mammalogists, Nagamichi Kuroda and Kyukichi Kishida”, Honyurui Kagaku (Mammalian Science), 2018, Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 161-174, Released July 31, 2018, https://doi.org/10.11238/mammalianscience.58.161, Accessed on 13th, April, 2019.
  • Hideharu Tsukada, Nariaki Nonaka, “Foraging behavior of red foxes Vulpes vulpes schrencki utilizing human food in the Shiretoko National Park, Hokkaido”, Mammal Study, 1996, Volume 21, Issue 2, Pages 137-151, Released October 28, 2005, https://doi.org/10.3106/mammalstudy.21.137, Accessed on 18th, January, 2018
  • Kohji Uraguchi, Kenichi Takahashi, “Den site selection and utilization by the red fox in Hokkaido, Japan”, Mammal Study, 1998, Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 31-40, Released September 30, 2005, https://doi.org/10.3106/mammalstudy.23.31, Accessed on 12th, April, 2019.
  • “Vulpes Vulpes Schrencki.” Vulpes Vulpes Schrencki / Invasive Species of Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies, www.nies.go.jp/biodiversity/invasive/DB/detail/10300e.html. Accessed on 12th, January, 2018.
  • Internet Movie Database. "Kita-kitsune monogatari." https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079212/. Accessed on 22nd, November, 2023.

Notes

The descriptions of Ezo Red Fox’s under clothes are derived from Mine Yoshizaki’s official art illustration of her having taken off her blazer and dangling it to the left of her. This image can be found in this Friend's gallery.

Mammal Friends
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