Grey Foxes odd behavior
We are lucky enough to have resident foxes on our 60 acre North Florida farm. In years past it's been red foxes but for the first time this year we have grey foxes. They seem to be very bold - they come right up to the house and even on the open front porch. We hear them barking outside almost every night. But all our wildlife including the deer and turkey know they are safe here since we allow no hunting and provide them with a great habitat.
Last week one of our cats got in a fight with one of the foxes ON the porch. As soon as it saw me it took off running. I was concerned enough to call around to the local authorities to see if there had been cases of rabies in the area.
One of the wildlife rescue people told me me they had not heard of any cases. She also mentioned that this time of year around here the females have young that they are hunting for and they become very bold.
Well, in the last several days I have seen three grey foxes at the same time - a large one and two "half pints" that are probably just old enough to be out on their own. I suspect they are trying to carve out their own territory.
Tonight we heard a terrific battle out in the field - it sounded like a fox and a cat though both our house cats were inside. I went out on the porch but couldn't see anything much until one of the "half pints" came trotting under the fence, growling. Even when he saw me he was not intimidating and continued to growl and move towards the house. I clapped my hands and he trotted around the front of the house, but kept stopping and staring at me.
I am now concerned that either the young foxes are so inured to human presence they have no respect or that there is rabies and we may have to have the foxes trapped and quarantined.
Is anyone familiar with the normal behavior of grey foxes and whether I should be concerned? Or should I just keep my cats in at night until the half pints find their own territory?