Feb 5, 2013

Dances With Coyotes: A Public Service Announcement

I won't waste your time telling you why I haven't written in a million years.  No one really cares.  So, moving on...

HyperHund and I spend our evening walks in the hunting training grounds located nearby.  This is basically a tundra with no windbreaks but plenty of coyotes.  This is really fun for us, especially when the sun starts to set and it gets dark and the ice on the lake is cracking and the coyotes are howling from around us in a circular yet invisible formation, and it's all very reminiscent of Simba wandering into the elephant graveyard, except with more coyotes, fewer hyenas, and remarkably few dead elephants.

Our area has been having a minor "coyote problem," with "minor" meaning unprovoked attacks on humans, random eatings of common household creatures, and coyotes trying to break through glass patio doors to reach the aforementioned household creatures.

And yet, tonight, at the hunting training grounds, I saw several cars lined up on the street side, coyotes circling around them, while some random ding-dongs attempted to whistle the coyotes over close to try to lure them to eat delicious snacks from their hands.

I am not sure why they thought this was a good idea.  Coyote need to stay afraid of humans.  No good can come of luring them over with hot dogs.  This reminds me of a story my dad told me in which he saw a family attempting to lure alligators out of the Florida Everglades with pieces of hot dogs held by children.  Also not a good idea, if I ever heard one.

Nevertheless.... not a good plan. I imagine one of several things was going on in these people's heads.

a) They fancied themselves in a Disney movie of sorts, perhaps where all the animals were dancing together in harmony, ribbons inexplicably flying through the air, and everyone singing.  In this fanciful moment, the coyotes would be prancing along in unbridled glee.

(Yes, I realize the lyrics are incorrect. Focus on the prancing coyote.  Cute, huh?)

b) Perhaps they believe that, in feeding the coyotes, they are bonding with them... connecting nature to human... truly bridging the language gap and using almost mystical powers to turn these feral creatures into familiars or totem animals.

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news.  I will be, though, because the truth is that the first sentence in this paragraph is actually a lie.  I'm fine with breaking the bad news. The fact is, the coyote does not love you, care for you, or want you to domesticate it.  Ribbons will not fall from the sky, birds will not help you make your prom dress, no one will sing like Pocahontas. 

No.  The coyote sees you and your hot dog as one thing, and one thing only:

Don't fool yourself.  If the coyote could unhinge his jaw, he would eat you like an egg snake swallows that egg.  He might lure you into a sense of security by prancing with you and singing a Disney song first, but make no mistake... you are not his friend.  Or maybe you are, but in the same way that bacon is my friend.  Incidentally, this should not be reassuring.

Befriending coyotes can only lead to several ends...

The coyote is no longer afraid of people.  Then, he will either get shot, get moved, or you'll notice your furry household friends no longer showing up for din-dins...

This has been a public service announcement.  Please do not feed or befriend the coyotes.  You are not Pocahontas or Dances With Coyotes.  No good can come of this.  Leave the wildlife alone, and keep your processed meat products to yourself.  Thank you for your concern.

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