Do Bears Eat Foxes?

Do Bears Eat Foxes?

Bears are one of the biggest predators in the forest, so you may wonder if they ever eat other predators, such as foxes. Here we’ll take a look at both bears and foxes and some interesting facts about both of these species.  

Do bears eat foxes? Bears do eat foxes on occasion, but it is not as common as you may think. Bears are omnivores, so they eat a combination of both plant matter and meat from other animals. They are also what is known as opportunistic eaters, so if they come across a fox, there is a chance that they will eat the fox. But it is actually more likely that a bear will steal the smaller prey from a fox that is hunting than to actually eat the fox. 

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What do bears eat? 

Brown Bear
Brown Bear

If foxes are not the main source of food for bears, you may be wondering what a bear normally eats. Plants actually make up about 90% of a bear’s food intake. They spend a lot of time eating vegetation because even though it is a low-calorie snack, it is also consistent and reliable.

Bears will munch on grasses, sedges, roots, flower bulbs, and even any berries that they find. Bears seem to really love berries – it has been documented by Banff National Park that grizzly bears can eat more than 200,000 buffalo berries in a single day. Bears will also eat a lot of insects.  

Animal wise, bears will eat small fish, birds, and mammals. Bears will also eat large animals, such as deer, elk, or moose, especially if they are young and small. Bears are also attracted to the scent of human garbage and pet or livestock feed.  

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Do bears have any predators? 

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear

Bears do not have many enemies in the wild. These giant animals really only have to worry about threats from people or other bears. Bears are sometimes hunted by humans for sport or for some of their organs, such as the gall bladder, which is used in traditional medicine.

Also, since bears attracted to human food, some bears may be killed by humans when they enter towns or neighborhoods. 

Large male bears will sometimes consider attacking a bear cub if they do not see the mother bear around, and smaller female bears are also at risk of being killed by male bears for food. This makes female bears appear more nervous than usual during mating season. 

RELATED: Do Bears Live in the Jungle?

What do foxes eat? 

Foxes are mainly carnivorous, but they will eat fruit sometimes too. Fruit that foxes like include apples, blackberries, and persimmons, and they will also snack on acorns and sedges as well. Foxes will eat insects like crickets, beetles, earthworms, and caterpillars, and they will also wade into shallow water in order to hunt frogs, fish, and even crabs.

On land, foxes will eat birds, mice, rabbits, and voles. They will also sometimes kill and eat a baby deer (a fawn) and they enjoy eating bird eggs. 

Foxes Infographic
Foxes Infographic

RELATED: Do Foxes Eat Deer?

Do foxes have any predators? 

Young foxes (pups) have to look out for eagles and coyotes, while adult foxes are more likely to be killed by larger animals such as bears, wolves, and mountain lions. Like bears, a fox’s biggest predator is humans. Humans sometimes hunt a fox for their coat or because they are considered pests. 

Are bears or foxes considered endangered? 

There are eight species of bears (the Andean bear, Asiatic black bear, brown bear (grizzly bear), North American black bear, panda bear, polar bear, sloth bear, and sun bear). The panda bear is considered to be the most endangered bear in the world. Sadly, only about 1,600 pandas are left in the wild. All other bears, except for the North American black bear and the brown bear, are listed as vulnerable and are considered to be at risk.  

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There are about 37 types of foxes found throughout the world, but there are only twelve “true foxes.” These include the most common fox, the red fox, and the famous arctic fox. Two members of the fox family are considered to be critically endangered. The Darwin’s fox, which is native to Chile, only has about 320 members left. The island fox is doing a little bit better than the Darwin’s fox, but these foxes are only found on six different islands off the coast of California. 

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.