The gray fox, the only tree-climbing canid. Photo: Alan Vernon

Berkeleysider and occasional contributor Kelly Cash writes in:

Last week, in the lowlands off Claremont there was a sick gray fox in our neighborhood, and I just saw a second one in the suburbs near Panoramic.

Do we need to know anything?  Do they have distemper?  Is someone poisoning them?  Should we worry about having our dogs offleash in Tilden?

They look dazed.  Sit and circle.  Other than the behavior, they look fine.

Beatrix Potter would be so sad.

Do any Berkeleyside-reading naturalists have an answer?

Update, 22.10: G Wallace, DVM posted the following comment: Last Monday a very sick fox was found near Claremont Canyon (perhaps the one seen near Panoramic). We were able to capture it and take it to the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital, where, despite treatment, it died the following day. The Contra County Health Dept. tested it for Rabies and it was Rabies Negative. Distemper is possible. If it is Distemper, it can be transmitted thru the air and by direct or indirect contact, so it would be wise to keep your pet dogs well vaccinated.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...