Ugly Human Activity Recently

Upsettingly, there has been ugly human activity in one of our parks which is affecting the coyote’s behavior: I saw this very clearly today.  It is the first time I have ever seen one of the coyotes so extremely nervous, edgy and jumpy. The coyote was agitated. It was looking around, particularly in back of itself, and it was flinching and jerking constantly, seemingly at imagined noises. This is so contrary to this one’s normal calm and relaxed self. I’ve become worried about it.

The new treatment that is being directed at coyotes is unnecessary and mean since the coyotes in this park are so peaceful — all of it is perpetrated by a small self righteous “clique” of about three people with a mission to make the coyotes afraid of people. This treatment includes throwing rocks in the direction of coyotes wherever they might be. I have heard about throwing stones to move a coyote away from yourself or from the path you are on. But this group of individuals is actually pursuing the coyotes anywhere they are, far from where the individual might be. One of these people, a man, ran off of his path about 50 feet up to where I was, on an entirely different trail, and started viciously heaving rocks towards a coyote which was 40 or so feet in front of me. The coyote had not been in his path or in his way. When I questioned him, he told me that the coyote had “looked at him”. I was absolutely bewildered.

Then, two days ago, I saw a large woman with a large stick, yelling at a coyote to “shoo, git, out-of-here”. This was nowhere near any of the paths. It was in an area where the coyotes should be allowed to be safe, where people seldom if ever go, towards the middle of a field by a thicket area — the woman had pursued the coyote into this area. This incident occurred as this coyote was barking after it had been chased by an unleashed dog. This “clique” thinks it needs to create fear in the coyote — they think the coyotes are becoming too fearless. They are trying to “manage” the coyotes and “manage” the park visitors without any authority to do so. If they want to prevent incidents with the coyotes, all they need to do is leash their dogs since all coyote incidents have been caused by dogs intruding on them.

The whole picture needs to be examined more thoroughly. Our coyotes are not aggressive, but might they become so as a result of the aggression that is being perpetrated against them?  Or, might they just leave the park? Our parks are one of the safest places for them in our city. Of course, if they go elsewhere they might be treated better — the problem is that coyotes who move into new territories risk being run off by coyotes which already reside there. Finding a new territory would be difficult, and in the meantime, their vacated spots in our park would be taken up by newcomer coyotes — this is how it works.

I have been asked “why don’t they just leave the coyotes alone?” We have been told that coyotes are a natural part of this environment: they belong here as much as we do. Most of us  just want to see the coyotes thrive and give sparkle to our urban parks. The only “incidents” we have ever had have involved unleashed dogs chasing the coyotes. If we need to “manage” the situation it would be to enforce the leash-law when the coyotes are visible. Please read postings on November 11th about “habituation” and on November 13th about “feeding”.

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