Seasons Greetings, 2016!


This little yoga-posing coyote — she looks like she’s sitting cross-legged in a lotus position — became a first place winner in WildCare’s 2016 photo contest. For other contest winners, and to donate to this wildlife organization, please visit:

Poop Bags In Coyote Country


Coyote sniffs a poop bag to assess what it is

“Has anyone else noticed all the used dog poop bags that dog walkers throw to the sides of trails in the parks? I find it disgusting, and the arrogance and entitlement on the part of these dog walkers is appalling. I know some dog walkers will say that they only leave the bags for an hour or so before returning on their way home to pick them up. However, it’s never legal to litter, even temporarily, and most of these bags sit for days, even weeks, before they get picked up by someone else or tossed into the bushes. Even if you plan to pick it up on the way out, this is considered littering.”

The above is a quote from the Facebook page of a dog-owner’s group I visit. Poop bags left around seem to be a growing problem in the city. I was spurred to post this when I saw a coyote giving her opinion of the problem by peeing on a bag!


A coyote gives her opinion of the problem

Photos From Coyoteyipps Now On Instagram!!


Check out photos from coyoteyipps at and follow them if you want! Each posted photo comes with a little snippet of information about coyotes or coexisting with them. It’s another way to connect to the urban coyotes in San Francisco.

Let’s Applaud ABC7 News and Elissa Harrington!

Finally, a station, in San Francisco, the city of Saint Francis, the saint who cared so much about animals, has aired a coyote report from the right perspective, not capitalizing on negativity towards coyotes, fear-mongering, danger or aggression. Thank you, ABC7 and Elissa Harrington!!

The story originated from an article I wrote for a community news blog about the perils of feeding and befriending their local coyote. It was supposed to be an educational and advisory piece for the local residents only. So, initially, I declined an interview from the news station, letting them know that my priority was the coyote — we didn’t want to imperil her any more than she already was with harmful news about her. The next day ABC called me again, and when I repeated my concerns, they agreed to interview me off-site and more generally about guidelines and advice. I hadn’t known that my interview would be just part of the news spot and that the news spot would actually zero-in on this coyote.

Although the coyote was sensationalized in the news clip, there was good that came of it. The clear message was that this coyote is loved and the residents don’t want her hurt. Neighbors are concerned for her well-being and safety. This was not your run-of-the-mill anti-coyote story. Yay!!

The gist of the story was that we humans were causing unintentional problems and harm here by our behaviors of feeding and attempts at befriending. Human “kindness” in this case is actually misguided and may end up killing the coyote who is now in the streets looking for the rewards she’s been trained to expect from car windows and people. Take away is: Please, don’t ever feed coyotes, don’t try to be friendly or commune with them, keep your distance and walk away from them always, especially if you have a dog. We need to respect, honor and love her *wildness*, and the way to do that is to give her the cold shoulder.

Thank you ABC7 News and Elissa Harrington for presenting the right perspective and for getting the guidelines out!! [Also see SFGate]

The Log Wobbled From Under Her

Have you ever stood on a log and then had it wobble out from under you because it wasn’t as solidly planted as you had imagined?

Perching high on a log for a view

Perching high on a log for a view

So, I watched this happen to a coyote. She stood on a log for a better view — coyotes like perching high for good views — and watched the world go by. Coyotes are sure footed, but how could she have known that the footing of the footing was not a sure thing? It wasn’t. The log began wobbling under her weight, and then she, too, began wobbling. She lost her balance and jumped off to investigate. She pulled and tugged on the log, this way and that, and finally she pushed it and it began to roll down the hill.

She, as we would have, watched in amusement as it rolled off. Unlike us, she went after it — maybe she was thinking, “tit for tat”? First she chased it, then she bit at it a few times — “take that!” “It’s not nice to play tricks on wildlife!” And then she pushed it with her front legs and it rolled some more, with her chasing after it.

Coyotes are particularly fun-loving and know about tricks. They play tricks on each other, and tease each other all the time. So maybe this young coyote — a loner without a family to interact with — was just doing to the log what she would have done to a sibling had she had a sibling around.

Or maybe she just really wanted a peaceful perch from which to view the world, because when the log stopped rolling at a pile of brush which would have blocked her view had she tried to get up on it, she found another perch and remained there, doing what she had wanted to do in the first place: watching the world go by!

Ahhh, here's another log that can be used for a lookout

Ahhh, here’s another log that can be used for a lookout

Any Human-Made Item Could Cause Injuries

Chewing on a three-inch hard plastic vial found left on the ground in a park

Chewing on a three-inch hard plastic vial found left on the ground in a park

Please don’t leave your trash lying around! It could injure an animal, even if it’s something as simple and seemingly-benign as a hard plastic container, as seen here. There’s enough out there that these animals have to deal with without having to deal with our made-for-human toss-offs.

This coyote found and chewed on a hard plastic vial. A piece of the hard plastic splintered off and could have become stuck in the coyote’s mouth, possibly lodging between her teeth or in her gums, creating discomfort and maybe an injury more severe than mere discomfort.  She used her paws in attempting to dislodge it. Pets are often taken to the vet for items that become lodged in their mouths, throats or stomachs. Wild animals don’t have this option.

3" hard plastic, splintered by the coyote's chewing.

3″  hard plastic splintered by the coyote’s chewing.

At first glance, it looked as though she was dealing with a paw or an eye injury, but notice that she used both paws and continually brought them to way back of the jaw on both sides. And this behavior happened right after chewing that piece of hard plastic. She worked hard to dislodge the uncomfortable or painful item, standing there patiently as she did so, but I have no idea if she was successful. When an animal can’t “fix” something like this, they learn to live with it. If she didn’t get it out, maybe her body will somehow expel it: nature can fix many things. But what if it doesn’t? We can prevent many of these occurrences simply by picking up after ourselves.

I'm not sure she was successful in removing what was bothering her :(

I’m not sure she was successful in removing what was bothering her :(

Unrelated to this story, but of interest, is this story involving my brother’s dog. Several years ago my brother’s Golden Retriever began avoiding him, slinking into a corner for several days before my brother forced the issue and discovered a substantial piece of metal wedged around his dog’s teeth. The dog apparently was fearful of being ostracized for this new *malady*, preferring not to be seen rather than asking for help. In the wild, many animals are shunned from their social groups if they look or act odd. Might the dog have been fearful of this?

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