Red fox family living near Jersey Shore boardwalk quickly become local celebrities


Red foxes Ocean Grove

A baby fox looks lovingly at a mother fox at the Jersey Shore on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. A family of foxes is living in the remains of a burnt out building near the boardwalk.Photo by Ryan Doan

A family of red foxes has taken up residence in the remains of a burnt out building just off the boardwalk in a Monmouth County beach town drawing curious onlookers and dozens of photographers every day.

The fox vixen and at least five kits burrowed under the wood and flooring the structure and they’ve been there for a couple weeks by most accounts.

Passers-by are welcome to stop for a look and take pictures, but are asked to keep their distance and to not attempt to feed the foxes, according to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

While a family of foxes living just off a well-trafficked boardwalk might seem odd, Executive Director Ross Licitra said that’s not the case. (NJ Advance Media has omitted more specific information about the den’s location).

Red foxes Ocean Grove

Two red foxes cuddle in their temporary home on the beach in at the Jersey Shore on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.Photo by Ryan Doan

“It’s actually very common,” Licitra said Friday. “They are very indigenous to the beach area. They’re fine — they’re not a danger to the public. They’ll probably stay there six to eight weeks and move on.”

In the meantime, people in the are enjoying seeing the fox family from a distance.

“They give a good show sometimes — jumping around and playing,” Licitra said, noting many foxes live near the beach in Sandy Hook but are not as visible.

Ryan Doan, a professional photographer from Eatontown, visited the beach Wednesday and patiently waited for more than an hour before the mother emerged around 2 p.m. Her cubs followed a short time later. “They’re adorable,” Doan said. “One of them seemed a bit mischievous — a little troublemaker.”

Doan said there were at least 15 other photographers there when he arrived.

The foxes appear to be well fed, gathering small rodents from under the boardwalk or near the jetty, according to Licitra.

Licitra noted foxes can be found across Monmouth County. “You can find them everywhere from Long Branch to Marlboro,” he said.

Red foxes Ocean Grove

Red foxes play in the sand at the Jersey Shore on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.Photo by Ryan Doan

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