Fox Takes Up Residence At The White House

White House Fox

Not the network, the animal:

WASHINGTON—There’s a new guest at the White House. Unlike most people who pass through the presidential residence, he wasn’t invited. But in cutthroat Washington fashion, he saw weakness and took advantage. Now he rests and plays uninhibited at the seat of power.

He also has pointy ears and a bushy tail.

The little red fox, who hasn’t been named, turned up on the White House grounds in the weeks before the government shutdown in October. After many White House groundskeepers were furloughed, the fox settled in. Months later, the furry little conundrum has left officials who sort through some of the world’s most complex challenges scratching their heads.

The fox lacks the deference typically exhibited by White House guests. He tore through the White House garden when it was left unattended during the shutdown. He graduated to tripping alarms in the middle of the night, napping wherever he pleases and generally living the high life on a campus overseen by dozens of highly trained Secret Service agents.

Even President Barack Obama was stunned, aides say, when he looked outside the Oval Office one morning to see the fox running down the same open-air colonnade along the Rose Garden that has been traversed by American presidents and world dignitaries for the past century.

No one can catch the fox, although it isn’t for lack of trying. White House groundskeepers bought a handful of metal traps and scattered them around the complex, with no success. The idea of shooting him was never considered, officials say. Instead, the crew that tends the grounds at the White House spent hours plotting to lure him into the traps with rotting hunks of chicken, so they could relocate him some 3 miles south to a park along the Potomac River.

“We don’t mind that he passes through, but we don’t want him to stay,” said Dale Haney, the superintendent of the White House grounds, who has worked in the 18-acre park since 1972. “No overnight guests.”

Reports that the fox has been named “Roger Ailes” could not be confirmed.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Heh, the fox knows many things…

  2. David in KC says:

    That’s what the fox says. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So, the FOX is in the hen White House?

  4. On a serious note, I don’t see why they don’t just leave it alone.

  5. Franklin says:

    @David in KC: Giving you a thumb’s down simply because I hate that song. There’s an art to being silly, and that song fails (IMHO).

  6. David in KC says:

    @Franklin: not a fan of the song either. It’s annoying as hell. It was all part of my evil plot.

  7. Motopilot says:

    So… Obama is El Zorro?

  8. CW says:

    Despite the best efforts of the White House, Fox now has a permanent presence. 🙂
    Let’s name the critter “Roger.”


  9. Nikki says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Well, they do have to consider the safety of Bo and Sunny.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    Considering the number of bunnies that must be hopping around there I imagine they’ll have a time convincing him to leave.

    I remember encountering a fox near the British Museum in London. They adapt well.

  11. Moderate Mom says:

    We’ve had a family of foxes living behind our back yard fence for over a decade. To the best of my knowledge, they’ve never created a problem in the neighborhood. The only time I ever see one of them is late at night. I guess it’s possible they’ve nabbed someone’s kitty, but I’ve never heard anyone of our neighbors mentioning a missing cat. Or dog for that matter.