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]