Going for a walk?

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“In the last 100 years, development has boomed, cities have grown and the connections people have with the outdoors has been replaced by the internet, shopping malls, movie theaters and home entertainment.”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.


Rabies? Today?

Locally, the Coyote Cam has failed to record the passing of any Coyotes recently. The camera has been checked and appears to be malfunctioning.  Seems the company can’t replace it until early October – we will see!  If you enjoy seeing locally photographed Coyotes the lack of their presence is worrisome.  Talking with neighbors and others this area seems to have been circumvented by the “Shape Shifter” even though the preferred buffet of squirrels and rabbits’ numbers appear extraordinarily high.  There has even been a pair of roadrunners romantically involved over the back fence.  We will be watching and reporting the Coyote as he / she appears.

In the last posting a video featuring a “Coyote Attack?” gave a great look at what not to do when confronting Coyotes. In this posting we will be taking a look at bold Coyotes losing their fear of humans as reported in wide ranging locations of North America.  Coyotes are intelligent, learning animals, they adapt to their food and shelter resources!  The Coyote survives by his / her wits unlike the Wolf and other larger predators.  Now days the Coyote thrives perhaps in large part thanks to the individual that created the above mentioned video.

Three separate reports were filed the week ending August 12, 2016 from Los Angeles, California to the Town of Mount Royal, Quebec, Canada to Midstate, Tennessee.  Coyotes are becoming more aloof and in two communities, aggressive!  The Los Angeles Times article reflected Coyotes were shot by public officials after three humans were bitten.  A young girl out walking in Menlo Park, a guy working on his car at home and a homeless person all were being treated for possible rabies infection after being bitten.  The suspect Coyotes were undergoing a post mortem to determine if they were in fact, infected with rabies.  Mean while in the Town of Mount Royal, Quebec as reported by The Suburban and another case reported by the Lebanon Democrat in Midstate, Tennessee Coyotes are being seen for the “very” first time.  In the Midstate incident a witness confirmed the killing of a neighborhood dog by a Coyote.  Residents in these last two areas are noting the appearance of Coyotes in their midst and state specifically the lack of fear exhibited by those Coyotes.

Readers may remember previous issues of this blog where-in citizens have called for Coyotes to be eliminated by what ever means necessary. Invariably, most residential communities prohibit shooting animals in their neighborhoods.  The high risk of collateral damage to humans and buildings is the over riding factor.  Then there are communities that allow leg traps to capture Coyotes.  However, some citizens in these communities object saying that their pets may be injured by these very same leg traps.   Additionally , the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is always present making sure animals are treated humanely.  Terminating the Coyote is all but impossible especially when the Coyote was probably here first.  Wait a minute here – It is a recorded fact and reflected in past postings, Coyotes were not the first ones here / there.  In truth, several areas never had Coyotes in their communities.

Undeveloped lands of forests and deserts have long been home to the Coyote. It is we humans that have moved into the Coyote’s terrtories.  We have pushed the Coyotes (along with a great many other animals) out and they are looking for new homes.  Only there is less and less habitable land for the Coyote.  Looking back over its shoulder the Coyote sees that our parks and neighborhoods offers more then their hard-scrap survival in the wilderness.  Remember the Coyote does know how to become almost invisible, at least until they become hungry.

Wait- what about the humans who have been bitten? About 99.9% of those previously Coyote bitten humans are on the mend.  How many more humans will be bitten?  Herein lies the real question, how much Coyote exposure is too much?  The answer is obvious; When enough humans have been bitten!  Folks that continue to face Coyotes as was depicted in the video are the ones who will determine how much exposure humans will have to Coyotes!

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!