More Play: Tug of War at Dawn

These fellas are thoroughly enjoying a play session, even though it was only for a very short spurt of time. They’ve found a piece of trash — a plastic bag — perfect for a game of tug of war. Play is always initiated with a playful jump, the “rump up” posture, running past the other enticingly, or, in this case, simply picking up the trash bag and eyeing the other daringly. The game was on!  The fun lasted for less than a minute, but it was intense and lots of fun. Then it was over and they moved on. These fellas are “buddies”: playing affirms the strong bond between them.

The invitation to play is not always responded to. That can be sad to watch: you can actually see the initiating animal “deflate”. The anticipation and excitement of a possible game create an energy and stance that are very palpable, and this just seems to drain away — like with a punctured balloon — if the coyote is ignored by the companion coyote.

 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Edie Jane Eaton
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 14:05:13

    Hi,
    I live in Quebec, about 40 km north of Ottawa. One winter after a noisy (coyote calls) night I found a patch of snow covered with what I’m sure were coyote prints. It was about 15m across – solidly printed. What could have been going on?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Nov 18, 2012 @ 22:15:45

      Hi Edie —

      Sometimes, when one coyote starts howling, others from the same pack will hurry to that coyote’s location and join in. The aria becomes a symphony. And they pace around a little as they howl. This is what was going on, I think. There are a number of factors that might have set off the initial howling, including responding to a distant coyote or a siren, or it could have been the reaction to an intruder. Janet

      Reply

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