Coyotes: Unprovoked Killers of California or Misunderstood Creatures?

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Coyotes are some of the most diversely thought of animals. Some believe they are vicious, rabid animals whose only instinct is to kill, while others think of them as elegant, intelligent creatures who are threatened by greedy, misled humans. But either way, coyotes have become the talk of neighborhoods and news of cities, all over the country.

(Photo source: dcsheriff.net)

 Coyotes are a natural inhabitant of California’s diverse ecosystems, from coastal sage scrub to deserts to snow. And because of the growing population of humans and coyotes, they have moved into our territory and we have moved into theirs, forcing us to coexist with these curious canines.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, coyotes are trying to coexist with humans the best they can. “They will follow traffic signals, travel after rush hour, and even escort suspicious-looking dog walkers out of coyote den territory where vulnerable young play.”

Unfortunately for the coyotes, the will to coexist is not mutual. According to the Humane Society, they have been exposed to a new threat: the persecution of local communities.

According to the Humane Society, “Roughly every one minute someone somewhere is ending a coyote’s life.” 

The coyotes have no plans to retreat back into the outskirts of civilization any time soon, which is why many local governments have resorted to killing these creatures.

What is being done to protect these creatures? Organizations such as the Humane Society and Project Coyote are frequently fighting for coyotes and other carnivores native to the U.S. Unfortunately, it is still legal to kill as many coyotes as wanted in many states if they are killing pets or livestock, damaging property, or getting uncomfortably close to humans.

Stated by the Urban Coyote Initiative, here are four steps to follow if you encounter a coyote:

  1. Leash your Dog
  2. Stand tall and assertive
  3. Haze the coyote until it leaves the area.
  4. Report over brazen coyotes.

Coyotes are a key part to several ecosystems, especially since the mass extermination of grey wolves in the United States. While they are not a concern to most conservancy organizations, it is still important that we protect these creatures, one coyote at a time.

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