Every now and then we hear of wild animals making their way into cities. But recently there have been many reports of coyotes being spotted in areas such as New York City - and it seems like it's becoming more common as time goes on.
- Coyotes Falling Into Our Traps
Naturally, at the thought of wild coyotes being in our territories, the public and officials feel terrified and threatened. Although one wouldn’t wish to encounter a coyote during a late afternoon walk or at a café when zipping in for a coffee (yes, a coyote was recently spotted at a café in Lower Manhattan), we also can’t resort to hurting them to rid ourselves of the coyote problem. In the Norwood region, police have been capturing coyotes with traps. One of them was captured a few days ago after it was deemed that it was both rabid and attacked a person. A team of wildlife officials and police have been on the search for rabid or aggressive coyotes, looking for their dens. There have been news reports of coyotes being wounded by traps and dying in them. Shockingly, one of these coyotes was said to be pregnant.
- Are They Really Aggressive?
Is this really a humane way of sorting out the coyote problem? People are calling the coyotes 'aggressive' but fail to see the situation from the animals’ perspective. They are probably confused and afraid about being on human territory, and have their fur up (so to speak) to defend themselves. Being hostile towards these creatures does not do anything to fix the problem, plus it is resulting in their unnecessary deaths. Recently in Vancouver, an 'aggressive' coyote was killed after it chased a woman who was walking her dogs. It is said that the Ministry of Environment will remove or kill coyotes when these animals are showing signs of threatening or aggressive behaviour. These include pursuing people, stalking them, or hovering nearby waiting for them. On their site, they state: 'Wild coyotes are naturally curious animals, however they are timid and will usually run away if challenged. Coyotes start posing a risk to people when they lose their timidness and become comfortable around humans - this is usually a result of direct or indirect feeding by humans.'
- They're in Danger
These animals are accustomed to being in the wild and it really isn’t their fault if they are being lured into human territory with food sources. As stated on the site, coyotes are not naturally aggressive, so it seems highly unfair and inhumane to be punishing and killing them based on how we have made them comfortable to find food in cities to begin with. The reports of coyote attacks on humans are scary, of course, but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is really the animals who are putting themselves at the greatest danger by being on our streets. Aggressive or not, these coyotes need to be released back into the wild in gentle and humane ways.
*Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons