Scout and her Family’s Story Continues: Captain is killed, likely by Rat Poison

The above photo was taken on October 23rd. That’s the last day we saw *Captain* alive. By the 25th he was no longer appearing. Captain was an almost seven-month old pup of Scout’s. We found his body deep within some brambles, only a couple of feet off of a small footpath. I wish we had found him sooner: a necropsy could not be performed because the body was not fresh enough: it was already covered with bugs and smelled foul.

The body was found in a park, far from where a car could have hit him: he was not killed by a car — there was no such trauma to the body. Note the same scar on his forehead in life above and death below. I normally would not be able to identify a dead coyote since I use their open eyes and expressions to identify them, but with an obvious mark of this type, I was able to.

The obvious conclusion is that he died of rat poisoning. In my last posting I talked about his mother, Scout’s, recent absence for almost two weeks. We feared that a coyote hit by a car in the area might have been her, but it was her yearling son. She finally re-appeared for several days, but exhibiting slowed-down behavior. She continues to appear irregularly and in much more inconspicuous locations than in the past. Might she, too, have ingested a less-than-lethal dose of rat poison? This kind of lethargy is a symptom of rat-poisoning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her. By the way two cats in the neighborhood died of rat-poison at the same time as did Captain. Please talk to your neighbors about not using rat-poison. WildCare in San Rafael can talk to you about much safer and more effective ways to control rats: Please Don’t Use Rat Poisons.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James Mense
    Nov 09, 2021 @ 18:32:08

    ….and I take 5mg of the stuff every day!


  2. Gina Solomon
    Nov 09, 2021 @ 18:56:06

    Very sad story. Also, the warfarins used for anticoagulation in humans are much less potent than the “super-warfarins” used in rat poison. These types of rat poisons are being phased-out in California due to the enormous toll on wildlife. Various neurotoxic chemicals are also used in rat poison, which cause a horrible death with shaking and convulsions.


  3. David
    Nov 09, 2021 @ 18:57:27

    Beautiful written, ever so sad. It’s all about understanding the lives of wild coyotes, more so those Song dogs trying to live in urban environments. In all my years with coyotes it has been nothing but sadly relearning and then correcting all the false information I took on as a younger man. What amazing beings they are and what sad and beautiful lives they live. Thank you


  4. yipps:janetkessler
    Nov 09, 2021 @ 22:44:13

    Here is a chart sent by my friend Christopher Hayes, and here is another website with additional information:


  5. Hannah
    Nov 14, 2021 @ 21:23:55

    Snap traps (checked regularly) are a /far/ more humane way to control rodent populations and don’t affect the rest of the food web in an ecosystem.


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