We live right next to a Provincial forest with nothing behind us but forest and mountain, we have almost invisible neighbors each side, so generally we are very in a very secluded location.
Last Winter, we noticed a coyote sitting at the edge of the forest about 20 metres away, he looked very thin and it was very cold out there – now I know that people should not feed coyotes, but my wife just couldn’t stand to see this poor fellow, so she got two fresh chicken legs and a handfull of beef offcuts and took them out to where he had been (he moved off when she went outside)
Within a couple of minutes he came back and polished off the lot and disappeared (maybe he took some back for his mate), anyway this was repeated each day for quite some time, until he would literally follow her to the feeding area a mere 3 or 4 metres behind. She would always talk quietly to him and he would stand about 2 metres from her and seem quite relaxed. Needless to say he began to look very healthy with a lovely full coat, and sometimes he will go away for 3 – 4 days and then return.
One day I was sitting on a planter, when I realized he was sitting just behind me (see attached photo) luckily I had my camera so very slowly I took this photo while I kept talking to him very softly – he stayed right there. Anyway my question is this; my wife took some food to him yesterday and he came right toward her and stopped about 1 metre away, then almost playfully he did a few little bounces with his front feet, his head was low and his rear in the air, then he started to eat the food – was he playing ? and was this his show of freindship ?
Incidentally we never give him any ‘human’ food only raw chicken and pieces of raw beef, I guess we love all animals and they seem to respond so well to us, including Owls, Racoons, a skunk family, and of course about 12 red squirrels !
Duncan and Rosalind
Thanks for writing and sharing your experience — and wonderful photos. Personally, there is nothing wrong with helping animals that are having a hard time in winter as long as it doesn’t create a nuisance for neighbors. Think of it as “rehabilitating” wildlife in the wild. The “don’t feed” is for misguided people that are feeding coyotes that don’t need any help – that, is “hurting” the coyote.
Obviously this coyote was there hoping to find some relief from starvation. The little bounce is happy anticipation, and gratefulness for the food – this is the behavior pups engage in, when parents bring food back for them.
The coyote is also keeping a respectful distance. It’s best if Rosalind puts the food down and leaves quickly, as not to condition it to approach or follow humans – this is strictly for the coyote’s protection.
Continue to help this little animal get over the hump. One day the coyote will leave, and may not return…until it needs help through another harsh winter or drought. Duncan and Rosalind will both share in the blessings of the merciful!Mary Paglieri Human Animal Conflict Consultant LittleBlueSociety.Org