Updates on KinkyTail and RIP Slim Jim, by Walkaboutlou

Hello Janet, 

I’ve recieved updates on Kinkytail and as well news of Slim Jim’s peaceful death.

The 4 biology students who also are rancher’s kids and grandkids have really kept up especially with Kinkytail’s life. They have goals as not only biologists but to turn several vast ranches into one enormous bison operation. Great kids and very observant. 

Slim Jim was observed end of October very slow and wobbly. He slept in open spots not caring it seemed but usually in middle of bison or out on rocks. His daughter Kinky seemed to visit him regularly. He was seen stiffly yet successfully hunting voles though nearly 100% blind. He also..every day..still tossed sticks about briefly in play.

Early on in November Slim seemed to vanish. His vocalizations weren’t heard. And Kinkytail howled for days…one of the observer’s said “that’s stress. Thats loss”. 

On Nov 9th Slim Jim was found curled inside a rounded hay bale in fields. He seemed to have passed in sleep. He had a small stick in paws.

He was examined by the students and cremated on his land on ranch. He weighed 38 lbs and seemed in reasonable condition. All of his remaining 7 teeth were worn very low. His neck and upper spine vertebrae were deformed it seemed by traumatic injury…(likely the wolf attack nearly 2 years ago) but he healed and was mobile. If a human..wheelchair and canes would have been needed. Slim carried on. His cataracts were thick. Glimmers of light likely seen and shadows. Age likely 12-14 years. A tooth was removed to age in lab. 

The indomitable Kinkytail

Rest well Slim Jim. In his long life we only knew his latter years.His mate and pups were killed by wolves and he was injured badly. His surviving daughter Kinkytail not only survived with him..but grew up ultra advanced. Some call her mean and ruthless type. Kinky got her Mate early in life and pupped as yearling. She then came back to her old place and Slim (again). She fetched her Father when she pupped. He babysat. She seemed to check on Slim often in his little pocket of quiet. Currently..she has banished a daughter pup. She is driving off her Mate it seems. He seemed “lackluster” in helping defend turf or following passing wolves or dogs or seeing off coyote visitors. 

Older pic of Many Blows. His swelling is now reduced. He is a very scarred but powerful veteran coyote.

She is being visited often by Many Blows..an older veteran coyote who had swollen jaw months. Many Blows had 2 younger female follower..whom Kinkytail has routinely chased off. They have not been seen recently. And Many Blows keeps chasing the lackluster but confused Mate..and Kinkytail watches in approval.

Kinkytail grew up in enormous litter of two combined litters. Her older sister returned when widowed and bore her litter with her and Kinkys mom. So…

Kinky grew up with huge litter. Which attracted wolves. Her Mom and littermates wiped out, she stuck with injured Dad and grew up fast. Very intense little coyote.

Bad Ears Pack…making incursions but kept at bay.

Kinkytail will spot you and bark miles away. She trails wolves when they pass through and escorts them out. At distance. She accepts the students who watch her..and disappears on other humans.

Same with ranch dogs. She knows the locals. Including my pack. Chases strange dogs off her land.

She has an intensity and toughness surpassing any so far. Especially for one so young. She seems very strategic. All summer she has resisted the incursions and scouting of the Bad Ear Pack. All of them bear her tooth marks. It’s thought with a powerhouse like Many Blows Kinky Tail will do very well in future.

It’s always guessing with the coyote. Wild lives are tenuous and can change in literal heartbeats. But..Kinky Tails aura is no guesswork. And Slim Jim’s life was a great one indeed.

Lou

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MelindaH
    Nov 22, 2022 @ 01:10:38

    Wonderful tales of the coyote on the ranch—thank you so much!

    Reply

  2. Gina
    Nov 22, 2022 @ 04:51:55

    So sad at the passing of Slim Jim. It’s the end of an era. I’m so glad he went peacefully, and that the biologists were able to learn from his body a bit more of his life story. May Kinky Tail live long and bear many litters!

    Reply

  3. Cindie
    Nov 22, 2022 @ 06:19:12

    Your stories Touch me deeply and bring tears to my eyes… Partly for all the struggles and losses and also partly just to feel so Close and intimate with these animals through your voice. Thank you

    Reply

  4. Jo Thompson
    Nov 22, 2022 @ 13:05:35

    Powerfully written. Amazing insight into the different stages of life. So thankful for the observant and compassionate biology students. They give me hope for a future.

    Reply

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