Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Coyotes aren't ugly


I was packing up my bags last night, preparing for a new dog-sitting job, and happened to walk by the television. The news was reporting a 'ha ha' segment, about a coyote who wandered into a Chicago area Quiznos sandwich shop.
He just sat there, not bothering anyone, as people wildly snapped camera-phone pics through the windows.
I didn't find the report so funny.

Okay, obviously I have a fondness for coyotes.

If you've fallen for anti-predator propaganda like the Big Bad Wolf, go get yourself a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's
Prodigal Summer.
But I digress.

Were it my sandwich shop, and were the location remote (did he come out of the nearby hill or???), I would have just clapped my hands (made noise) and basically thereby asked him to go home. I do this all the time when the coyotes get too close to the house and outside kitties that my mom feeds or that live near houses where I work. I would not have called animal control.

Yeah, I know he's a wild animal. I know better than to even approach domesticated dogs in situations where they might react in an aggressive manner (guarding a car, for example). I would not, however, ever assault the poor animal with a freakin' neck noose.
I just find that appalling.
The reaction just really really bothers me.

I assumed they killed him, because I was told that is the course of action here, but the news reports say if he is healthy he may possibly be released.
I really hope that for him.

People really need to understand that nature is a beautiful balance.
We need to better learn to coexist with all creatures, not run and hide, or react with fear and paranoia, or cringe in our 'refined' city shells.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Martha in Massachusetts said...

Coyote sightings are much more common here in the last 5 years, but for the most part people here have not educated themselves on the issue. Panic and fear and calls to animal control are still the norm. Wild turkeys making a stand on the roof of someones car, or congregating on a lawn, provoke newspaper articles about "the problem". A few years ago I was fortunate to be able to observe a swarm of bees as they arrived in my neighborhood and protected their queen amid a living shield of bodies while thousands of others scouted for an appropriate spot to set up household. As the broad swarm continued to compact itself in size as they narrowed down the options, I observed many drivers stop, turn around, and drive away rather than drive past the stand of trees. One man observed the scene for only a moment before he pulled his car over close to me, rolled down the window, and in a panic called to me, "Are the police on their way?" .

4:40 AM  
Blogger MsLizzF said...

I live in Central California in the country....7 miles from town and hear Coyote's almost every night. I fall asleep to the howls and yips they make at night....what beautiful music they make. I happen to like Coyote's...because I don't like to see a mouse in my house and they eat lots of them in the wild and help keep the population down.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Ginamonster said...

I live in the sticks so coyotes are normal for me. Personally, I don't see why anyone has a problem with them. If you don't want your pets eaten, keep them inside at night and install motion lights like the people I dogsit for.

But for goodness sake, don't shoot them! We are encroaching on thier areas, so of course we will see more of them!

Not to mention the people who kill the coyotes and complain about the overpopulation of bunnies...

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barb,
You'll be happy to know that this coyote was transferred to a wildlife rehab center and released near a forest preserve after being examined by staff. The shop he wondered into was in the Chicago loop--he really needed help finding a better place to settle. The coverage by the Chicago media was pretty much pro-coyote(this is heartening because many suburban residents panic when they hear about coyote sitings because they worry about their pets). See this link for footage of the coyote's release. http://video.nbc5.com/player/?id=88176
laura from Chicago suburbs

10:07 AM  
Blogger FinnyKnits said...

Yeah, situations like this always strike fear into my heart - thinking that they might get put down just for roaming into "our" domain.

This happens a lot up here in NorCal with mountain lions and we don't hear about a lot of them being released. However, in this coyote's case, he was released safely into the wild.

I'm with you though, that neck noose is scary. And after he was being so calm and submissive in that drink cooler. Poor guy. He was just hot and lost.

1:16 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Martha--that made me laugh out loud. Geez (rolling eyes). Thank you so much for the comment. One of my clients had a hive on his house and had pest control remove it. I couldn't believe he didn't even consider that it could have been removed in a more humane, non-toxic way. I just don't get it.

Anonymous--thank you for that information, and for reading my blog. The rest of you, I will email you or leave a note on your blogs. Thank you.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Feathers said...

Yes, the coyote story had a very happy ending! My hubby said that the owner of the Quizno's shop, who is an animal lover, wrote out a $1,000 check (I believe to be donated to an animal charity or something like that) and also brought down a large Quizno's sandwich for the coyote to eat! The coyote was a big celebrity for the day :) I still can not figure out where he came from though, because it is all highrises and offices in that area.

6:03 PM  
Blogger kt said...

One of the highlights (among many) of my girlie going to a non-public school is that we all vie to catch a glimpse of the coyote(s) who hand in that neighborhood.

And oh, that's my FAVORITE Kingsolver of all.

10:47 PM  
Blogger suburban prep said...

The coyote was released in a wild preserve in the Northwest Suburbs. There have been a number of near misses with coyotes and airplanes at O'Hare recently as well. They have been spotted around and in Chicago of late.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Gina E. said...

This was a fascinating post to read, Barb - I thought all the replies to your post were wonderful - very heartening to know that people around the world have these feelings for their local wildlife. We are on the outskirts of Melbourne, and get quite a variety of native animals around, depending on the time of the year. With the drought in its ninth year, animals and birds are so desperate for food and water they have all but lost their fear of humans, and are seen more often than ever around the suburbs.
By the way, check my blog - I found a bunch of ties for you!

8:12 AM  
Blogger Miss Eagle said...

Thank you Barb for the reference to Barbara Kingsolver's novel, Prodigal Summer. I loved this novel. She is probably my favourite living author. Thank you too for the photo of the coyote. Living in Oz as I do, I only have a vague idea of what a coyote looks like. I notice that Gina has just left a comment. We are planning an opp shop (thrift shop to you) tour very soon. Pity you don't live in Melbourne or you could come too! Do you want us to get you some ties? Loved those eggs!

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Eren said...

Oh, this story breaks my heart. I grew up in the country in TX and sitting out in the night air listening to the coyotes yip would not be the same experience. I know any animal can be a problem, but people can be just a big of problem at times. Can't they? A little understanding would have been in order for the poor creature.

4:18 AM  

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