In the last posting this blog reviewed a Los Angeles Times article describing a Coyote “attack” where-in three people were being treated for the possibility of rabies. This week, another Coyote attack occurred but this time the Coyote tested positive for rabies and in of all places – Rhode Island. The readers that follow this blog regularly can validate the multiple comments repeated through out that Coyotes are losing their fear of humans. Coyotes are becoming habituated. Wildlife in a natural setting up close is most always a beautiful thing! However, one should determine if the approaching animal has a strong curiosity or is sick. A habituated animal can be confused with an other wise sick animal, it is important to understand there is a difference between the two.
If the animal appears to be struggling (awkward) without any obvious external injuries it is safe to assume that animal is probably sick and should be avoided. In any case the “sick” animal should be reported to authorities at the earliest convenience! On the other hand, just because the approaching animal does not appear sick contact should always be discouraged. Humans have differing attitudes in their relationships with wild life and unfortunately for the wild life not all humans have wild life’s best interest in mind.
In, The need for modern conservation efforts, an article written for New Mexico Wildlife. The author, Zen Mocarski writes, “In the last 100 years, development has boomed, cities have grown and the connections people have with the outdoors has been replaced by the internet, shopping malls, movie theaters and home entertainment.” What was once wilderness is fast being converted to undeveloped land meaning it is being viewed for investing purposes. What was once wilderness will soon be either an urban housing project or industrial location. The wild life that used to call that piece of land home may very well become homeless. Coyotes (wild life), it is safe to say, have been pushed out of their homes by encroaching human developments. Not only have we (you & I) made critters homeless we have contributed to their early demise. How, you ask? Providing access to our jobs and malls are highways which divide what was once wildlife’s home. The fences that limit road crossings by animals traps the animals preventing escape from their predators. Additionally, what few animals that make it past the fences become road kill and those numbers are climbing as the number of vehicles increases. Don’t like seeing Coyotes in your neighborhood? Then it is time to look around the country and see about better land management to prevent the loss of wildlife habitat! Keep wildlife in the wilderness.
At the beginning of this post Coyotes were noted to have attacked humans inside neighborhoods or what should have been a safe place. Those attacks may not have been prevented but had precautions been taken, the severity of those attacks would have been reduced. Hiking in the back country, going for a walk around the block or just taking a stroll it is a good idea to be aware of the surroundings and carry something to discourage unwanted advances. Serious thought should be given to using a walking stick because it not only provides stability it will provide a defense against unruly varmints (think Coyote here). This blog does not endorse any products but offers the following for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a walking stick as opposed to using a cane. Walking sticks can be as decretive (expensive) as the heart desires depending on the craftsmanship involved! The object is to have a sturdy walking stick for any occasion that arises. The internet offers many sources of the walking stick priced from less then $20.00 to more then $80.00. You are welcome.
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.