For the last month the West side has had a rare, white-coated leucistic fox by the name of Loki roaming the Austin neighborhood and community.
Now the West side white fox may sound like a cute nickname for a cool animal but this one is actually domesticated, and his name is Loki. Lokie ran away from home last month and his owner has spent countless hours attempting to catch the sly canine.
Concerned neighbors had reported seeing him relaxing on residential rooftops and roaming backyards. They spotted the animal wandering around the neighborhood as it eluded its owner and the Chicago Animal Care & Control (CACC) for weeks.
But even CACC was stunned when they saw the majestic creature. The leucistic fox had a unique color, according to Nicky Strahl, of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, who had never seen one before the Chicago fox.
“It’s not very common at all,” she said, “It had a genetic abnormality that creates different colorations, different patterns than what you’d normally see.”
The five-month-old fox is not aggressive and its owner has a state permit that allows him to keep the fox, said Ivan J. Capifali, CCAA deputy director.
On Thursday, the fox was finally home again. The owner lives nearby and had been on the scene helping animal control.
Foxes, just like coyotes, can also thrive in urban areas where there are plenty of prey. The fox was seen Sunday apparently carrying a rodent in its mouth.
Cook County Animal Control actually says it’s helpful to humans to have foxes around.
“They’re keeping down on the vermin that we don’t like, including rats and voles and mice,” said Donna Alexander, of Cook County Animal Control.