Even though urban coyotes become accustomed to people and traffic — constantly seeing them makes this inevitable — they retain their wild natures and wariness. They’ll go out of their way to keep a safe distance from folks — fleeing if approached. What could alter this is feeding them — please never feed coyotes. They know to avoid cars, but I’m not sure they understand how extremely lethal cars really are: I’ve seen them wait for a lull in the traffic and then dart across a busy street. Cars, in fact, are one of the chief causes of death of urban coyotes — I’ve known several that were killed by cars.
This coyote here emerged into the open and immediately became spooked by a couple of bikers and by cars. The couple had stopped and was just looking at him. There were lots of cars. The coyote quickly ran into hiding, but only for a moment. Seeing that he wasn’t really in danger, he trotted right out again and went off on a human footpath. Cars saw him and waited. This occurred in one of our busier parks right in the middle of the city and right in the middle of the day.
[Encounter and photos by Judy Reynolds]