Ezo Red Fox
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The Ezo Red Fox is a mammalian Friend species that has appeared in nearly all Kemono Friends media to date.
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.
In Real Life
The Ezo Red Fox is a subspecies of Red Fox 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 in 1924, on Sakhalin, by Kyukichi Kishida, who gave the fox it’s 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, livestock, chickens, and a variety of other bird species. As red foxes are omnivorous, these foxes also consume plant matter. Potatoes, beets, berries, and dead grass make up the majority of plant matter consumed by the studied foxes, the latter of which composing 61% of most consumed plant matter. Ezo 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 a slope in the ground for raising their cubs, commonly around a clearing in wooded areas. 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. The denning period usually lasts until June.
As an invasive species in the Chiba and Saitama prefectures, the presence of the Ezo Red Fox in the range of the native Japanese Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes japonica) puts them in direct competition with each other for food and territorial resources. Ezo Red Foxes are also common carriers of the zoonosis tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis which can be spread to the native animals of the region. There is also a risk of the Ezo Red Fox and the Japanese Red Fox undergoing hybridization if the populations interbreed.
- An Ezo Red Fox family living in Hokkaido is the primary subject of the 1978 Japanese nature documentary film Kita-kitsune Monogatari, narrated by Eiji Okada. An English localization of the film called The Glacier Fox, narrated by Arthur Hill, was released in the U.S. the following year.
- 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.
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.