Of Wolves and Coyotes

The coyote problem has been in the news in my area (southern Ontario) for awhile. The news outlets have said coyotes are nuisances that kill farm animals and might even one day kill a child.

It didn’t used to be this way. My area, much as the rest of North America, was originally inhabited by wolves. The wolves kept the coyotes out of much of North America excepting the deserts.

But European expansion into North America brought with it a hatred of wolves. Dirty tricks were used such as killing bison and lacing the dead body with poison to get the wolves. So all the densely human settled areas got rid of wolves.

Wolves generally do not attack humans. They might attack dogs or livestock but only a rabid wolf will attack a human. There has been grumbling that Eurasian wolves will attack humans but I don’t think it has been ruled out that these wolves are dog/wolf hybrids.

The theory about why dog/wolf hybrids can be dangerous is simple. Dogs are not afraid of humans but are tame. Wolves are afraid of humans but wild. When a dog/wolf mating has offspring, they might not be afraid of humans and be wild. So these offspring can be dangerous.

So we managed to get rid of wolves, an animal that avoids human contact and certainly does not stalk us. Instead we now have coyotes which will attack children.

A quick peek over at Wikipedia reveals that there have been non rabid attacks by coyotes on children, one resulting in death. And the fear of more child attacks has raised the cry, ‘Destroy the coyote.’

But if we decimate coyotes, what will take their place, and will it be more dangerous?

Perhaps Sasquatches will move into a new niche if the coyotes disappear. And I think that this will be mega dangerous. Why? Because Sasquatches are smarter than humans.

Obviously Sasquatches have managed to hide from us ubiquitous humans for thousands of years. The only explanation is that they are smarter than us and cover their traces.

Will humanity be able to survive the onslaught from the much smarter Sasquatch? I doubt it. Perhaps they’ll leave a small breeding population of humans in the deserts of the world, much as the wolves used to leave the coyotes a place a to live.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
This entry was posted in History, Politics, Pseudo Science, Science, Wee Bit O' Humour and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Of Wolves and Coyotes

  1. Bob Jonkman says:

    There was a Quirks and Quarks episode on coyotes filling the ecological niche left by the decimation of wolves. The episode also suggests that coyotes hybridized with wolves, rather than dogs.

    CBC’s Quirks and Quarks from 3 October 2009: Coyote in Wolf’s Clothing (near the bottom)

    –Bob.

  2. Larry says:

    So as not to be to confusing, I didn’t mention anything about the folk singer who was killed by a coyote/wolf hybrid a couple years ago on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. I guess coyote/wolves are in the northeast. Previously I’d only heard of coyote/wolf mixes in northern Mexico, a couple decades ago. The red wolf had been so decimated that the only remaining ones were the coyote/red wolf mix.

  3. Bob Jonkman says:

    And then there’s this from the KW Record: Province considers ‘contest’ to get rid of coyotes

    Ontario is considering holding a “contest” to get rid of wily coyotes in some areas where the animals have become increasingly aggressive.

    A Progressive Conservative MPP is suggesting a provincewide coyote cull, but Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey said mass hunts simply don’t work.

    “Traditionally bounties and culls don’t work — they aren’t an effective form of population control,” she said Thursday.[…]

    And…

    [Trent University scientist Brent] Patterson said it is “very unlikely” contests will work in the long-term because of the amount of private land and green spaces that don’t allow hunting.

    “Even if you went crazy and shot every possible animal on those areas where you can hunt there are enough areas where you can’t that those animals and their offspring would completely recolonize the surrounding areas within a year,” he said.

    So why undertake the expense of a coyote hunt? Just let them establish their natural equilibrium in the environment — that’s cheaper, sustainable and eco-friendly.

    –Bob.

  4. When Europeans arrived in North America there were about 250 000 wolves living in what are now the lower 48 states. Despite more than 150 years of persecution similar to that experienced by wolves coyotes have expanded their range threefold since the 1850s and now inhabit all of the Canadian provinces and every state except Hawaii.

  5. Red says:

    I used to live in the desert Southwest. Whenever I hear about people wetting their pants over “TEH EVIL COYOTE INVASION,” it drives me nuts. In all my years in the desert, I heard and saw coyotes on a regular basis, but never heard of a coyote attacking a human. Pets were a different story–NEVER let them out unsupervised. Lock up your garbage. And don’t approach a coyote. That’s it. You know what? Coyotes love to kill and eat rodents and rabbits, decreasing the risk of rodent-borne diseases such as hantavirus. Once you live in the desert, you begin to realize just how cowardly and alienated from nature most people are. Sorry if that came across a bit harsh, but I am so frustrated with this ignorance and fear-mongering!

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