Be An Ambassador for Proper Stewardship of Our Urban Coyotes

You’ll see coyotes on trails in parks and sometimes even on sidewalks in neighborhoods. These are normal urban coyote behaviors and don’t mean the coyote is sick or out to get you.

Guidelines are really simple: just keep your distance and move away, and KEEP MOVING AWAY from the coyote, especially if you have a dog (which more often than not needs to be leashed), but even if you don’t have a dog. Please don’t feed or try to befriend or try to interact with them.

These guidelines are not simply for your own safety — though they are for that too — they are also for the well-being and healthy stewardship of our urban coyotes who otherwise could be (and have been) turned into “stray dogs” who hang around, beg, and chase cars. They need to be kept and valued as the wild and wily critters they were born to be.

Note that too much human “love” is just as harmful to their well-being as a human culture of fear. In some pockets of San Francisco, the pendulum has swung from fear to too much love for coyotes, usually through feeding, coupled with befriending, trying to get near, attempting to communicate, or even prolonged mutual visual contact. This human behavior, over time, can ATTRACT coyotes and break down existing natural and healthy safety barriers, causing a coyote to hang around listlessly, chase cars, approach, and beg — instead of hunt.  It’s best to, ”love their wildness at a distance and maybe just out of the corner of your eye”.

Please be an ambassador for our urban coyotes and invite others into the fold. For further explanations about how human misguided friendliness can impact coyotes negatively, please see: Food: The Behavior Shaper, and  Demand Behavior.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MelindaH.
    Jan 20, 2020 @ 22:25:16

    Well said. Thank you!


  2. Amber Galstad
    Jun 12, 2021 @ 09:32:22

    We have heard one just crying and braking late at night and around 4am it’s painful to hear first I thought it lost it baby or got lost then I was thinking the pack would of heard it then I read this about being kicked out of pack iv been hearing more and more of him/ her yelping or barking I feel just so bad and sad for it ? Will it go on like this forever? Do they find other mates his / her heart is just broken and it brakes mine to listen to it what do I do if anything I live in holmen wisconsin in the country please let me know thank you for your time


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 12, 2021 @ 14:35:44

      Hi Amber — It sounds more like a pup who might have lost its mother, or a coyote who has been pursued by a dog. It’s hard to tell. For us humans, we have to let nature do its thing, however, we need to control what we can: ourselves and our dogs, and let the coyotes be who they are without interference. I hope the distressed coyote is okay. :(( Thank you for sharing! Warmly! Janet

  3. tish1961
    Jun 03, 2022 @ 18:53:30

    Hi Janet, thank you for your website, information and in a time of distress and need. There is a bunch of us who watch our live cams and discuss the local wildlife. In the last 3 weeks a coyote with a radio-collar hung and strapped, it looks tight, on to its neck, complete with ear tags has been picked up in our cams. But we are distressed to see his? distress! We’re assuming it’s a male. He’s in very good condition, coat, tail, fullness – except now he’s seen with this monstrosity around his neck. The band is wide, looks to be a brown leather. And the pictures are he looks to be by himself. Cruel and inhumane! I wish there was a way we could get it off his neck, but this is not going to happen. He looks hang-dogged, depressed. I can’t believe they’ve placed this on his neck and for what, information they already have! How far they roam, what they eat, in a pack or no pack… it’s all been done! I have left 6-7 messages with the Fish and Wildlife in WA. After leaving the 6th message for wildlife programs, questions, habitat, a woman on dispatch picked up and after listening to me intently with much passion for leaving wildlife alone, she gently interrupted and said the Dept. of F & W doesn’t have anything to do with studies, etc. She gave me another separate number which is still F & W but in the dept. of biologists. I left my impassioned plea and concern for the coyote with the 9lb barbell strung around his neck, weighting it down and tags placed in his ears. It’s more than cruel and inhumane. They have every right to be wild and free from man’s constraints. Here where we live, we’ve noted since the coyote are here the rat and mice population, dwindles. The dead songbirds left by domesticated cats is nil. We revere the coyotes, deer, possum, raccoon, bobcat, river otter, heron, kingfisher, ducks, owls, and many, many more wildlife. This is their home. We respect them. Give them the space they need. We don’t feed wildlife (horrible detriment for wildlife). We love seeing them in the landscape. We’re careful driving. We’d like more teaching in the youngsters’ classrooms – middle school – high school. To respect all wildlife. To the Biologists in study of wildlife: please remove these large weights off of their necks, and stop punching tags in to their ears. You cannot know, or do you care, of the harm you are placing the wildlife in with these restraints around their necks. If you’re out there and you have the means to remove these horrible weights, please let the wildlife be free of a manmade contraption that you have forced this coyote to wear. Try wearing one yourself and go around doing your day to day with this tied to your neck, tight. Also, punch two ear tags in to your ears. See how long you could stand this, Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Biologist. Please stop utilizing these weights on wild animals.

    Thank you,


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 20:38:00

      Hi Anonymous — Thank you. I’m totally with you. Could you please let me know WHERE you’ve observed this? Possibly we could find the person/group studying the coyotes in the region. I believe they all have to have permission to collar and tag from Fish and Wildlife. You said Washington — can you give me a specific region? Thanks so much. You are a great ambassador! Janet

    • tish1961
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 20:49:03


      Absolutely. See if you can discern the area: google map three lakes road, 147th Ave SE, 80th street snohomish

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 21:00:44

      Hi Tish — I’ve just called your Washington Fish and Game Department: 360-902-2936. They are the ones who issue the permits to study the animals, and everyone who studies them has to have a permit. I’ll have to wait for them to call me back. In the meantime, you, too, could call this number — the more of us involved, the better. Ask them for the name and contact of the entity studying coyotes in the area. It might be a university or college. If there are several entities, get the name and contact of all them. Please let me know if/when you get a response. We can then proceed to contact that group. Janet

    • tish1961
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 21:00:25

      Would you keep me in the loop, please if you learn anything. I called at least 7 phone exts to western, WA. One ext. I actually got to talk with someone rather than a recording, leave a message. She informed me my concern and phone call needed to go to the Biologists Of Fish & Wildlife. I too, left a vm there; here’s the number: 360-902-2515. The communications officer at 360-902-2936 ext 6 indicated the Biologists were not a part of the F & W programs for habitat, wildlife, questions, etc. She indicated they did testing, collaring, etc. Let me know if you need anything else. Your personal email I can send you pictures of the coyote. We all feel distress for him/her. Possibly a him.

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 03, 2022 @ 21:04:49

      Hi Tish —

      I’m heading out right now and won’t be back until late this evening. There has to be a permit office: we need the names of entities which study the animals (no matter how incompetent they are — and they are totally incompetent for fitting a collar incorrectly). I don’t believe in collar use of any sort. My email: Janet

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 19:24:44

      Hi Tish — Could you please send me the photos of the coyote? Thanks! Janet

    • tish1961
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 19:26:47

      Seriously, what timing! I had just hit send and your email came through!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: