Natural Selection

The May 14th, 2016 edition of the Coyote Cam focus was directed at a blind, pregnant female Coyote struggling to survive. Only the intervention of a human saved the dying pregnant Coyote.  The blind female Coyote gave birth to five puppies which are to be released back into the wild.  Saving dying Coyotes and releasing young Coyotes into the wilderness is contradictory to every Coyote Cam story to date.  Without fail, most if not all humans see the Coyote as a threat to their livestock, family pets, and oh yeah – children.  Why then does someone need to intervene and prevent the death of a blind and pregnant Coyote?

Most readers will note that the Coyote Cam centers on the history and survival skills of the Coyote in rural wilderness, suburban and urban settings. In the wilderness nature’s law prevails whereas in suburban and urban localities nature’s law gives way to what we humans decide is best.  Most human dwellings require green grass and flowers around homes and yards.  Flowers are a thing of beauty but secondary to that, they also draw butterflies and hummingbirds.  To further enhance our outdoor enjoyment we hang bird feeders around the yard hoping to attract song birds and in a few cases we even put out bird baths.  There is no argument that these feeders do attract birds and sometimes, squirrels.  Unfortunately, squirrels, mice and rabbits are attracted to the seeds dropped to the ground by these backyard feeders.  Squirrels, rabbits and mice are a buffet to a hungry Coyote!  All too often these same feeders are inside the fence where the family pets eat and play.  It just doesn’t get any better for a Coyote, food and (remember the bird bath) water all in the same location!  Lets not forget that most humans are complacent in the fact the backyard is a safe place allowing children to play unattended.

Conversely, Nature has a rule that perpetuates and improves life in the wilderness and that is that sick, young, old or injured animals provide sustenance for other wild life. An animal carcass provides meals to all species of wild life, scavengers even include other Coyotes!  Conversely, the suburban / urban Coyote has developed survival skills based in part on the inattention of humans.  Humans, intentionally or unintentionally, do little to protect their home environment against animal intrusions hence Coyotes find easy access to food and shelter.  Every one complains when neighborhood dogs tip over garbage cans but was it really a family pet that did the deed?  Coyotes can push over garbage cans as easily as the family pet!

Newport Beach California

Sterling Heights Michigan

Reviewing the week’s national media Coyote postings, two interesting articles appear. The first is from Newport Beach California which reveals its Coyote problem was bad enough in August 2015 that citizens threatened to take matters into their own hands.  The authorities stepped in and currently are attempting to establish a prioritization monitoring system whereby Coyotes posing a sever threat are terminated.  Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the country, Sterling Heights Michigan residents are seeing Coyotes in residential areas.  Alarmed citizens are being told by the Police Department there to use all possible precautions to avoid a direct encounter with the varmints.

In the last Coyote Cam posting we find a human seeking ways to save a blind and wounded rural Coyote. Did the well intentioned person of the previous posting intercede in “Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection?”  Let the rest of us know how you feel, leave a comment.   Stay tuned- there is more to come on the Coyote Cam


Survival and Motherhood

Readers will note from previous articles this author chooses to reflect on Coyotes’ existence as opposed to whether the animal should be exterminated or allowed to coexist within our environments. Every card carrying hunter that ever existed will never let an animal suffer, there are no ends legitimate hunters will go to recover what they hunt.

If you will- the following is a short story based on true incidents from Salvang, California.

This morning was one of those bright, sunny spring days in the Santa Yanez Valley of California. The air was not cold but it was crisp which made her happy since her exertions would be difficult on warmer summer days. Running across the top of a hill Angel was only slightly behind when the leader seemed to tumble and fall. She stopped in her tracks looking at the bloodied head of her mate, he was not breathing. A sudden blow hit her between the eyes and as she rolled with the impact Angel knew her life was in danger. She had to get away quickly. Running for her life her head now throbbed with what ever had hit her skull, her eyes beginning to blur. Knowing she could not see well enough for a long sprint to safety Angel did what came naturally to her, she found a brush covered depression and laid down to hide. The pain in her head behind her eyes was now so intense she grind her teeth. Suddenly Angel sensed footsteps approaching, she held her breath and laid motionless. The voices were unintelligible and she didn’t recognize their language, her head was about to explode from the pain! Minutes passed as she lay absolutely still with her eyes closed. The danger’s scent and nearness beginning to fade, its movement going past and beyond her. She waited almost all day hoping she could rise and move, her body stiff from the intense constraints of hiding.

She could feel the warmth of the morning sun but now there was a new danger even worse then the horror of the previous day. She had opened her eyes but she couldn’t see. The world was a blur, she could no longer distinguish shapes every thing ran together. Before yesterday Angel and her mate were free sprits with the valley and reservoir as their play ground, food and water abundant. Today Angel was alone, blind and hungry. To make matters even worse she knew she was pregnant and her delivery not far off, she had to find food. Several days later and without much more then seeds to eat she could smell water not far away. She remembered a large reservoir but unable to see, she tripped and fell down the steep embankment to the dry bottom. California was in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Angele lost consciousness.

Some days later she could feel and sense a friendly human prescience. She didn’t try to run this time, all of her energy spent. She lost consciousness again as her pain racked body was lifted upward. That afternoon she awoke to find her wounds bandaged, no longer hungry, still blind but now with a new sense of safety. Some how she knew she and her babies would be safe.

By Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 2:23pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 8:54pm
In an April 3, 2016 photo, a female coyote known as Angel rests in an enclosure at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Solvang, Calif.

A female coyote known as Angel rests in an enclosure at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Solvang, Calif., on April. (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)

SOLVANG, Calif. — First, rescuers realized the emaciated coyote they pulled from the bottom of an empty reservoir in Southern California was blind from being shot between the eyes. Then, X-rays showed the near-death animal was pregnant. After a month long regimen of care, including intravenous fluids and vitamins, the coyote gave birth at an animal hospital to a litter of five healthy puppies.

In an April 3, 2016 photo, In April 3, 2016 photo, five pups that the coyote known as Angel, recently gave birth to sleep in an enclosure at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Solvang, Calif.

Julia Di Sieno of the Animal Rescue Team in Solvang found the coyote in the reservoir after a call came into her hotline Feb. 11. The coyote was bleeding and having trouble breathing.  Di Sieno climbed down 30 feet into the stone-and-mortar reservoir and loaded the wounded animal onto a gurney. She named it Angel.  Examinations revealed Angel had been shot between the eyes, and the bullet blinded her. The coyote then likely wandered the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara for days or weeks until she tumbled into the reservoir, Di Sieno said.  “What this animal endured is beyond comprehension,” Di Sieno told the Los Angeles Times for a story Wednesday “When she had puppies, I didn’t know whether to cry in sadness or for joy.”  Five pups that the coyote known as Angel recently gave birth to sleep in an enclosure at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Solvang, Calif., on April 3. (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)  She plans to care for the puppies until they are mature enough to be released in the surrounding mountains. Di Sieno hopes to keep Angel as a surrogate mother for young coyotes that her nonprofit rescues. But first she has to persuade the state Department of Fish and Wildlife not to euthanize it. In California, possession of a coyote is illegal unless permitted by the state.

Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan told the Times the agency is looking for a reasonable solution.  “The department appreciates Julia and the rescue team’s efforts to save this coyote and other wildlife,” he said. “We’ve worked closely with her over the years and appreciate her passion for rescuing imperiled wildlife.”

Julia Di Sieno, the executive director and co-founder of the wildlife rehabilitation center Animal Rescue Team in Solvang, Calif., feeds a baby squirrel that was brought to her center after someone in the area found it. (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)

In an April 3, 2016 photo, Julia Di Sieno, the executive director and co-founder of the wildlife rehabilitation center, “Animal Rescue Team,” in Solvang, Calif., feeds a baby squirrel that was brought to her center after someone in the area found it.


Stay Tuned- There is more to come on the Coyote Cam.