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Janelle Schroeder / MEDILL

Finding foxes among the dead

by Janelle Schroeder
June 07, 2011

Oak Woods Cemetery, located in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood, houses not only the likes of the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and Olympic runner Jesse Owens, but is also home to the elusive gray fox.

The fox resembles a small dog, weighing between 5 and 14 pounds, but are the only North American canines that climb trees.

The animals are most common in west-central and southern Illinois, but a small population has made a home in a cemetery that sits among rundown buildings and abandoned storefronts.

According to an Oak Woods security guard, the foxes are seen regularly and at all times of the day. Find out on the attached video about a Medill Report's search for the fox.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers two-hour walking tours of the cemetery that discuss the evolution of cemeteries as well as Oakwoods' history.