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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Neighborhood Coyote

God, folks, I just saw a coyote. Right by my nextdoor neighbors’ house. It looked exactly like this:

And it just stared at me. I knew I heard weird howling at night and saw suspicious paw prints in the snow in winter but I didn’t expect to see one in the middle of the day. It was entirely unafraid of me. At first, I thought it was a fox, although it was bigger and had a different maw from the foxes I’d seen before. But I googled it, and it’s a coyote all right. 

I’m now afraid to go outside.

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14 thoughts on “Neighborhood Coyote

  1. Socal dendrite on said:

    They’re bold all right, but they wouldn’t attack you. Right to be wary with babies and small dogs though. We have lots of coyotes where I live; I see them trot up and down our road bold as brass all the time and, the other day, one of them curled up for a nap in our yard just about 10 feet from my kitchen window. I probably should have chased it off, but I didn’t have the heart to – it was curled up so peacefully.

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  2. It’s my understanding that the coyote population has exploded in recent decades due to more people (which means more trash, they’re largely scavengers).

    Traditionally they are only very rarely dangerous to people but coyotes in urban areas are said to be losing their fear of humans, I think some controlled hunting could cure that in a hurry.

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  3. Yeah, it’s not good that they are unafraid of humans. We have some around the neighborhood; several small dogs were eaten in the yards near the wooden area. You should make noise and scare it away (I’m not making this up, that’s what we were told to do).

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  4. Alex the Physicist on said:

    They won’t attack you (you are a dangerous predator in their eyes), but Klara definitely should stay close to you when they are around.

    As to dogs, even large dogs are food for them, because even large dogs rarely learn how to hunt or fight, whereas coyotes learn it in order to survive. However, a female dog that is in heat because she hasn’t been spayed might attract a different sort of attention from coyotes, and a coyote in heat might be receptive to a male dog that hasn’t been neutered. The offspring of such a pairing is a nightmare, because they have a coyote’s hunting ability but a dog’s utter lack of fear of humans.

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    • David Bellamy on said:

      I have known a few dogs that were half coyote. They were very calm and friendly. I am often afraid of dogs, but I was not afraid of them at all. Calling them a nightmare is not warranted at all.

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    • I’ve also heard of coyote wolf breeds, which combine more agression and hunting with coyote ingenuity at ending up places they shouldn’t be (not a good mix….)

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  5. Unless you happen to be a roadrunner you should have nothing to worry about.
    …provided you don’t happen to stumble upon any packages of explosives or military-grade equipment bearing the ACME logo ….

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  6. Don’t be afraid of a coyote, just keep an eye on Klara. Personally I’d be much more afraid of a large dog like a Rottweiler or a pitbull, they have much more powerful jaws than coyotes and statistically ‘domesticated’ dogs bite people far more often than any other canid in the US.
    http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2016.php?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs6rfpO2O1gIVpLXtCh0QlA6WEAAYASAAEgJxX_D_BwE

    Fear of coyotes, wolves and foxes is usually promoted by farmers fearing for their livestock, which isn’t totally unreasonable, or the hunting lobby who like any excuse to kill things.

    I had foxes visiting my garden for several years, very beautiful animals.

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  7. Dreidel on said:

    “I’m now afraid to go outside.”

    Relax. Coyotes won’t attack an adult human being unless they’re (the coyote) is rabid.

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  8. There’s been one coyote attack around where I live. It was a huge deal and made the paper because of how rare such an attack is. The coyote was later found and determined to be rabid. Rabies in coyotes isn’t particularly common — there haven’t been very many outbreaks since the 1970’s — and any rabid animal is aggressive, so there’s not really a point in being afraid of a coyote just for the reason that it might be rabid.

    Coyotes aren’t generally aggressive, and rabies is actually quite rare. They’re mostly small game predators, but they do tend to follow deer into a given area. Deer populations have exploded recently, and the coyote populations have followed. As has already been stated, they view humans as larger predators, but are more likely to go after small animals. If you’re nervous, a good idea might be to buy a bear bell or two to keep on wrists or clothing when you’re close to the creek or other wooded areas when they’ve been spotted nearby — the noise can help scare them off. But again, they’re really not aggressive — if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.

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