Coyotes vs. Nutria, by Jen Sanford

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Nope, no birds involved, sorry.  At Ridgefield yesterday I watched a pair of coyotes try to take down a nutria and fail miserably.  I thought I was about to vomit my lunch while watching a nutria get torn in half, but nope.  He made a run for it down into the slough.  But it was still cool to watch.

From Janet: I want to point out that coyotes often hunt in pairs like this, especially when there is larger prey than a gopher involved. Also, coyotes, like the rest of us, don’t always have the same skill sets, most of which have to be learned through practice and through watching other coyotes. All the bites by the coyotes were to the nutria’s back: I wonder if they were trying to break its back to incapacitate it?  Or, might they have been trying to pick it up to carry it off, but unable to do so? It looks like the nutria endured several puncture wounds — I hope its injuries were not too severe. Nutrias were “eradicated” from California, but they still inhabit Oregon. Thanks, Jen, for sharing your posting and superb photos!

This posting and photographs were republished, with permission, from Jen’s site i used to hate birds.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rory
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 06:25:58

    Grabbing and snapping the back probably works on thinner animals, so they tried that, not appreciating how different the musculature of a beaver is from a squirrel or rat. A classic dog-on-deer-style attack involves taking out the rear legs and then tearing out the throat of the downed animal. This nutria never loses its balance, nor seems to take any attack on the throat. It is too heavy to lift for a spine break and too muscled at the neck (and heavy) for a neck-snapping shake.

    Three or four more aggressive canines might have been a different story.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Feb 12, 2012 @ 03:23:22

      Thank you, Rory, for sharing your knowledge about what is going on. It’s interesting that the weight and muscles of the little guy serve as protective mechanisms. Janet

  2. Leda
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 16:37:46

    Awesome photos!

    Reply

  3. Charlotte Hildebrand
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 18:48:39

    Poor nutria, but then I’m partial to rodents…. great shots!

    Reply

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