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Archive for the 'coyotes' Category

When coyotes attack kids

Marin Headlands, Mar 9, 2008

Thursday an Associated Press story described how a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl in her front yard in Southern California.

The mother rescued her child and the coyote ran off. It was the third time in five days a coyote has posed a threat to a small child in Southern California. On May 2 another 2-year-old girl was attacked in Alterra Park in Chino Hills, 30 miles east of L. A. And a coyote went after another toddler in the same park on May 4. All three children suffered non life-threatening injuries.
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Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2008
Under: Coyote attacks, coyotes, Wild Neighbors, wild predators | 2 Comments »

Army killing endangered desert tortoises, coyotes, and … ?

Army relocates endangered desert tortoises into drought area. Starving coyotes kill tortoises. Army kills coyotes. Nobody wins, except the Army.

When our little story opens, 770 endangered desert tortoises are living peacefully in their local ecosystem in California’s lovely Mojave Desert. Then along comes the U.S. Army to stake claim on the endangered tortoise’s critical habitat because they want to use the area for Army tank training.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: coyotes, Desert Tortoises, Endangered species | 2 Comments »

UC Web site helps you avoid coyote problems

Take a look at this interesting note I got about CoyoteBytes:

Hello Gary:
I thought you might find this information and new Web site of interest. This project is currently operating in Southern California, but plans are under way to expand to our area. As a walker in the Lime Ridge Open Space (Walnut Creek) who enjoys regular coyote sightings, I am pleased to see solutions that allow us to amicably coexist. — Shelley Murdock, county director of UC Cooperative Extension

Here’s a little bit (byte?) from the press release Shelley sent me:

UC Web site helps homeowners avoid coyote problems.
A new Web site has been created by a University of California wildlife specialist to assist homeowners in preventing and solving conflicts with suburban coyotes. provides information about coyotes in urban and suburban environments, giving specific management recommendations. Residents of Lost (OOPS, Freudian slip) Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties can also report coyote attacks or encounters via the site.

In the future, you’ll be able to view a map that shows where reported attacks occurred. UC scientists will compile and analyze this information to better define the scope of the coyote problem in these counties, and to improve their recommendations for preventing and solving future coyote conflicts.

CoyoteBytes provides information to homeowners, land managers, agency personnel, and others to help solve coyote-human conflicts, particularly in urban and suburban areas. The site also has coyote photos and short video clips in a photo gallery of suburban coyotes for you to see. You can also submit your own coyote photos and videos.

During 2007, this Web site is targeted toward Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

** It will be expanded to all of California at a future date. While the focus is down south, the coyote information that is NOW on the site is applicable to coyotes EVERYWHERE … so drop by and start reading!

With CoyoteBytes, you can:
** Learn about urban coyotes,
** Report a coyote encounter or incident,
** View a map of coyote incidents in your area,
** Find links to more information about coyotes

This Web site appears to have real possibilities for making it possible for humans and coyotes to live in the same area and get along with each other. That would be nice.

At the very least, there’s a LOT of fascinating information on CoyoteBytes about coyotes and how to enjoy them while protecting yourself, your kids and pets from any dangerous encounters. It’s pretty interesting.

Please check it out and let me know what you think: /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Under: coyotes | No Comments »


Why does shooting always seem to be the first (and last) response by government agencies to wildlife encounters?
Bay City News Service (BCN) reports that “two city-dwelling coyotes were shot and killed late Sunday night, following a Saturday morning attack on two leashed, large Rhodesian ridgeback dogs in Golden Gate Park.”

NOTE: Rhodesian ridgebacks weigh 70-85 pounds (“The New Encyclopedia of the Dog”). Coyotes typically weigh 18-44 pounds (“Mammals of California”).

Basically, the coyotes bit one of the dogs, causing “minor injuries.”

Officials said this “marks the first encounter in San Francisco with aggressive coyotes in recent history.”

It will also be the last encounter of any kind that anyone will have with coyotes in San Francisco if the state Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife executioners have anything to say about it.

It would be a shame if this one negative encounter resulted in the deaths of all future coyote visitors to this beautiful Baghdad by the Bay.

Although the coyote “threat” in Golden Gate Park has calmed down since the executions (gee, I wonder why), BCN has a revealing quote from Rose Marie Dennis, director of public affairs for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department:

“It is not a foregone conclusion either way that there aren’t going to be additional concerns of additional animals.”

Possible translation of quote from bureaucratese to English:

“We’re going to kill any additional coyotes with an additional BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! when we find them.”

Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
Under: coyotes | 4 Comments »

Time for the coyote’s early morning walk

I’ve been looking forward to the first really good rain to kick off the winter. Last night was a good one and the remaining light mist felt good on my face when I got up in the dark to go to work this morning. It was just too tempting and I decided to take a short walk around the block first and enjoy it.

It was garbage day and I could see the blue garbage bins lined up all the way down to the corner. Suddenly I saw something moving on top of one of the containers. I slowed down, trying not to make any noise as I walked on the wet pavement. As I got closer, I finally made it out. A coyote!

The wild and wily canine, about the size of a small German shepherd, was so focused on trying to paw open the bin’s lid that it didn’t notice the curious human who was standing about 30 feet away. Trying to paw open a plastic garbage bin while you’re skittering around on your claws and trying to keep your balance on top of the lid is akin to trying to saw off a limb while you’re sitting on it. It’s an almost unworkable situation but if it does work you’re going to fall off and hurt yourself. But that’s the human thinking. All the coyote was thinking about was that wonderful smell from last night’s dinner.

The coyote suddenly stopped and turned and looked straight at me. As our eyes met I smiled and just that tiny movement was all it took to send the animal leaping from the bin to disappear into the dark shadows behind it. I hadn’t moved or made any sounds since I had arrived, at least not any sounds that I could perceive. But I don’t have a coyote nose or coyote ears. Sometimes I wonder if these marvelous beasts have their own form of ESP. Or maybe I had just been betrayed by an errant breeze.

I opened the bin and looked inside. Steak bones! No wonder. I scooped them up, left them in a big juicy pile on the sidewalk, and headed back to my house and car so I could go to work.

That was a lot more fun than walking a dog.

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2005
Under: Animals, coyotes, wild predators, Wildlife | No Comments »