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Urban Coyotes
June 6, 2007 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Wild coyotes roam San Francisco.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (60 comments total)

 
We had one last year in Manhattan.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:45 AM on June 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


sweet. I live right at the base of bernal hill and run (read: walk) up the hill quite often... Ill keep my eyes open for him/her/it.
posted by subaruwrx at 10:05 AM on June 6, 2007


Chicago coyotes like Quizno's.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:08 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wild moose roam southern Connecticut.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:09 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


My brother lives in the Presidio and has seen a Coyote going after his ($2000) cat.
posted by stbalbach at 10:10 AM on June 6, 2007


We've got a red fox that wanders nearby, eating careless rabbits and squirrels. All the feral cats around get real nervous when she passes by.
posted by boo_radley at 10:12 AM on June 6, 2007


Wild coyotes also roam New Haven county, Connecticut. I saw one on the side of a hill overlooking the Merritt Parkway last year. I was like, what the fuck is that coyote doing here?

Deforestation for the win!!!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


We've got coyotes here in Boston now, too. The Arboretum has signs posted indicating that there have been sightings and that people should keep their small dogs on a leash (or in their purse).
posted by mds35 at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2007


(Actually, technically, it was in Fairfield county, since it was on the OTHER side of the bridge.)
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2007


Also, there are now wild turkeys EVERYWHERE in southern connecticut.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2007


also -- a $2000 cat? Is that a domesticated/ wildcat crossbreed, stbalbach?
posted by boo_radley at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2007


Coyotes roam SLC too.
posted by trbrts at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2007


They're in Vancouver too. Just last week I almost ran over a pair of them on my bike as they were crossing the road. I stopped and shouted 'whoah' and they both paused and stared at me for like 10 seconds before crossing. Kind of eerie.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:15 AM on June 6, 2007


When I was growing up in San Diego, we had coyotes in the canyon & we saw them running across the street pretty regularly. They ate quite a few of the neighbors' cats. After slowly gaining their trust using food rewards, we ended up training the coyotes and riding them around the backyard like ponies. I made that last part up.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:16 AM on June 6, 2007 [5 favorites]


If you have a small animal outside here, you will find it becomes a meal eventually. "Lost kitty" and "Missing pug" signs are stapled to bulletin boards in defiance of the odds. (The outdoor cats that survive out here are wily.)

Plenty of native rabbits to eat, though--it's a little frightening to think what their population might be otherwise.
posted by maxwelton at 10:18 AM on June 6, 2007


Note to self: Invest in Acme corp.
posted by bondcliff at 10:19 AM on June 6, 2007 [10 favorites]


I like coyotes. Coyotes are about as intimidating as deer. I wish we had more around here.
posted by zennie at 10:21 AM on June 6, 2007


They wander up from the riverbanks all the time here in Calgary.

Every so often, the media will run a story on how one got the family dog or wandered through a yard where kids were playing, and then we get a week of shoot-'em-all vitriol in the local paper. Thankfully, it always dies down.
posted by gompa at 10:21 AM on June 6, 2007


I don't think most people, especially those that live in urban-metropolitan areas, really appreciate how much wildlife they actually have around them. Coyotes are intelligent, and as scavengers they are well suited to live in cities. They are big enough that raccoons and feral cats won't mess with them, but small enough to move about undetected.

I'd be willing to bet that most of the cities that fall within their habitat range probably have coyotes living in them, totally unknown to the population around them.

What gets scary is when you start wondering how many bigger animals are also within your city limits.
posted by quin at 10:22 AM on June 6, 2007


We have frogs, and toads, and fish, and fox, and birds, and... wait, we're compiling this list because why?
posted by HuronBob at 10:22 AM on June 6, 2007


I saw one in Mississauga in the midst of heavily developed suburbia. Turns out the park naturalizations create perfect habitats.
posted by srboisvert at 10:23 AM on June 6, 2007


Ohio as well.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:23 AM on June 6, 2007


Coyotes are about as intimidating as deer.

All due respect, zennie, I'm fine with the coyotes too - robust ecosystems and the food chain and all that - but a pack of deer is far less likely to hunt down and eviscerate your cat. Which coyotes do with some regularity around here. (They got the gompa family Abyssinian after he snuck out one evening back in April.)
posted by gompa at 10:26 AM on June 6, 2007


I saw a Roadrunner on my street, does that count?
posted by Floydd at 10:27 AM on June 6, 2007


I have a love/hate relationship with coyotes.

On one hand, I grew up in the woods outside a rural town. Coyotes were a persistent problem as they would pick off 1-2 cats and 3-4 chickens each year. It was relatively easy to determine their culpability, as they have the endearing trait of leaving conspicuous piles of fur or feathers where one's animal used to be. They are also surprisingly bold. Whenever our loud, fearless, belligerent golden retrievers were outside, the only indication they were around was the occasional plaintive howl in the distance, but within hours of the dogs being brought in, they would happily venture right outside our windows looking for a tasty morsel.

On the other hand, it's tough not to admire such a smart, wily bastard of an animal. They are the Bubbles of the animal world, capable of thriving in pretty much any environment sans the disgusting personal habits and constant rancor that characterize that other Artful Dodger of anthropomorphism, the Raccoon.
posted by uri at 10:31 AM on June 6, 2007


I posted an AskMe about urban coyotes a while back. Because of the lack of rain here in LA, all sorts of rarely seen critters have been creeping down from the hills. I was suprised to see a huge, fat raccoon waddling around the other evening.
posted by maryh at 10:32 AM on June 6, 2007


According to a friend of mine who lives in the foothills in LA, coyotes have been a big problem there this spring, perhaps because a lot of them were driven by wildfire into more densely populated areas. They will not only attack cats, but will also go after small dogs, including grabbing them while they're on leash being walked. My friend and her neighbors now carry walking sticks, pepper spray, etc. on their walks to defend their pets.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:32 AM on June 6, 2007


I do feel sorry for the dogs, but you can hardly blame coyotes for seeing them as an easy snack.

In slightly-related news, a few years ago when I lived in NY there was a minor small-dog kerfuffle. Apparently a local falconer was hired to use hawks to keep down rats and pigeons in the park, which was fine until a little ratty dog got attacked (it survived). Ratty dog owners citywide raised a stink until the poor hawk had some sort of covers put on its claws that would allow it to swoop but not to kill anything.

I always kinda sided with the hawk, but then I hate ratty little dogs.
posted by emjaybee at 10:40 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wild coyote roams Chicago suburb; eats a rabbit in my backyard leaving only bloody clumps of fur and two neatly untouched hind legs; wife sends husband out to clean up because those with XY chromosomes are solely responsible for disposing of all dead animals and parts thereof. Coyote makes a day appearance the following afternoon, probably just to laugh at husband.
posted by mdevore at 10:49 AM on June 6, 2007


I am in your beloved city park, eating your ducks.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:56 AM on June 6, 2007


I remember that hawk vs dog story. It was a Harris' hawk, I believe.

Perhaps the coyotes in the Presidio and GG Park will um, take care of some of the feral cats that are decimating the quail populations. Or, if they prefer rats, perhaps they'll end up eating poisoned rats, and keeling over the way a number of raptors did. Hmmm. The city's pest management people swear they won't use it anymore...

If coyotes in San Francisco aren't exotic enough for you, you could always hold out for an ostrich.
posted by rtha at 11:00 AM on June 6, 2007


Heh. I sleep with coyotes.
posted by loquacious at 11:20 AM on June 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


That's a great story, loquacious. Makes me want to sneeze, tho'. All that dog hair!
posted by maryh at 11:34 AM on June 6, 2007


I can't believe there was a moose on the Merritt Parkway in CT! That's insane!

Earlier this spring while it was still cold I saw a bunch of what I thought were dead dogs along the Merritt in CT. After closer inspection I saw that they were coyotes. I think the unusually cold spring kept the rodents underground so the coyotes had to venture out of their natural habitats to feed their young. Sad.
posted by any major dude at 11:44 AM on June 6, 2007


*click* something just went off in my head. I realized that I have seen a few "missing cat" signs posted around my new neighborhood and I never put 2 and 2 together until just now. That Coyote on Bernal Hill must be really well fed.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:48 AM on June 6, 2007


I also wish that it was a giant coyote god that came down from the hill and ate the drug dealers and rambunctious youths that make too much noise in front of my house.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:49 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like cats, but I have no trouble with feral, or other roaming cats being coyote food. Cats are pretty damn destructive if left to roam wild.
posted by edgeways at 11:57 AM on June 6, 2007


Werewolves roam London.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:00 PM on June 6, 2007


I also wish that it was a giant coyote god that came down from the hill and ate the drug dealers and rambunctious youths that make too much noise in front of my house.

Err, sorry about that.
posted by loquacious at 12:01 PM on June 6, 2007


loquacious, that's a tremendous story. I went camping in the Anza-Borrego desert in January, and heard the distant calls of coyotes in the night. But they didn't cozy up to me (I would have freaked out if they did!).
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 12:03 PM on June 6, 2007


loquacious, that's a completely fantastic, wonderful story. I bet the guy in Israeal who woke up with a leopard in his bed would trade you in a New York minute.
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on June 6, 2007


From the Quizno's Coyote story: "The officer didn't have far to go; he was at the Dunkin' Donuts next door."

Zing!
posted by anthill at 12:26 PM on June 6, 2007


We've got a bit of a coyote problem in my town right now, too. To the point where one apparently picked up a 20-month old by the neck and tried to drag it into the woods, Azaria Chamberlain style.

Which is, you know, fun.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:31 PM on June 6, 2007


We have them in Santa Barbara and I like them, I like hearing their singing and seeing them while I drive and I love that years with a lot of coyotes are years without a lot of rats.
They are pretty smart about killing chickens though and will run around a pen and even climb on top of the pen to try and chase a chicken into a corner where they can kill it through the fence and drag bits of it through to eat. I am up to three layers of fence now and have not lost my one last bird yet.
posted by Iron Rat at 12:59 PM on June 6, 2007


I love the coyotes out here in the Denver suburbs. You can hear them singing on summer nights; it's a nice reminder there's used to be something other than concrete, Kentucky bluegrass, and stupid little rat-dogs here. I see them and red foxes with decent regularity (once a month or so). I wish they'd come in closer to the house though; our garden is feeding the rabbits instead of us this year.

Also...why worry about coyotes eating cats when you've got pumas eating students?
posted by hackwolf at 1:14 PM on June 6, 2007


I mean, wild coyotes have roamed Portland forever (at least once you start getting further out, closer to Beaverton, and probably other places as well). They yip at night and kill the occasional cat, but other than that I like them - not that they're super visible. They like to hide out.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:33 PM on June 6, 2007


As she turned onto Beverly Glen her high beams, sweeping through an alleyway, reflected off a pair of attentive red eyes. Being realistic, she thought, and heard the wolves emerge from alleyways, abandoned buildings, underground parking garages, their black callused paws pattering like rain against the damp streets. They loped alongside her car for short distances, trailed off to gobble stray snails and mice, paused to bite and scratch their fleas. She refused to look, driving through the deserted city. The alternating traffic lights cast shifting patterns and colours across the glimmering asphalt, like rotating spotlights on aluminium christmas trees. Wolves, men, lovers, cars, streets, cities, worlds, stars. The real and the unreal, the true and the untrue. Unless you're careful it all starts looking like a dream, it all seems pretty strange and impossible, she thought, while across the city the wolves began to howl.


SCOTT BRADFIELD::the dream of the wolf
posted by Drexen at 1:42 PM on June 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


San Francisco also has a busy raccoon population, which i've seen a few times on late-night visits to the Legion of Honor parking lot (they just kinda hang out there around the trash cans...i think people must feed them there)...

...before I realized there were raccoons, I was freaked out one night walking to the corner store for Haagen-Dazs and having like 10 or 15 of them slink across the road in front of me and go over somebody's fence...i thought it was a hallucination for a while...

the coyotes have been around for a while, though...in golden gate park, at least...
posted by troybob at 2:05 PM on June 6, 2007


The timeless Coyote vs Acme, by Ian Frazier.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2007


I just finished reading that yesterday, gingerbeer. The title essay was great.
posted by phatkitten at 2:26 PM on June 6, 2007



They wander up from the riverbanks all the time here in Calgary.

Every so often, the media will run a story on how one got the family dog or wandered through a yard where kids were playing, and then we get a week of shoot-'em-all vitriol in the local paper. Thankfully, it always dies down.


Except the one that attacked that child up on 14th Street NW last year.

And the one that attacked the child in Chestermere.

And the one that attacked the child in Altadore.

Thankfully? Unfortunately's the word you're looking for there.
posted by watsondog at 3:19 PM on June 6, 2007


*click* something just went off in my head. I realized that I have seen a few "missing cat" signs posted around my new neighborhood and I never put 2 and 2 together until just now. That Coyote on Bernal Hill must be really well fed.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:48 AM on June 6


I live in Bernal hill too. I'm your neighbor. You're right. I've seen a lot more of those signs recently! There's also a lot of raccoons up there - not to mention the hawks, owls and field mice. I imagine the coyote and raccoons are engaged in some kind of turf war.

Haven't spotted the coyote yet but there are so many dogs on that hill, it'd be impossible to spot the coyote from a distance.
posted by vacapinta at 3:48 PM on June 6, 2007


We have wild sloths here in Caracas. Fairly common, though they still slow down the traffic when they turn up. Lovely creatures.
posted by micayetoca at 4:00 PM on June 6, 2007


loquacious, that was awesome. For some reason, I assumed you were linking to some random dude's blog.

Once I realized that it was actually you, it became a hundred times more amusing.

/Gir voice

Doggies loves you. They loves you good.
posted by quin at 4:07 PM on June 6, 2007


Minneapolis is full of wildlife. Saw a very majestic hawk just yesterday. We could use more hawks to help cut down on the billions of rabbits we have hopping around, though. Coyotes would be pretty welcome in my neighborhood.

Bald eagles show up in the suburbs moderately often here.
posted by gimonca at 6:30 PM on June 6, 2007


Perhaps the coyotes in the Presidio and GG Park will um, take care of some of the feral cats that are decimating the quail populations.

Speaking of which, I was in the GG Botanical Gardens a few weeks back when I first sighted 4 quail scurrying around in a huddle. I commented to the docent and he told me that their numbers are increasing specificly because the coyotes are picking off the feral cat population. I have seen a few more quails in the area since then.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:07 PM on June 6, 2007


Maybe Michael Mann's filming a sequel to Collateral.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:38 PM on June 6, 2007


There are Mormons in Key West. Well, there are.
posted by humannaire at 8:10 PM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I live in the San Fernando Valley, and every so often there's a pile of feathers -- and nothing else -- scattered around the yard, or on the roof, or what have you. Several months go by between these episodes.

Then finally one morning I look into my backyard, and there's a beautiful falcon on the ground, a juvenile...and it is patiently dissecting a smaller bird, and scattering the feathers about.

I was awestruck at how beautiful a bird it was, and even though I'm usually a poor-dead-bird type of person, frankly this time I was just impressed.
posted by davejay at 8:20 PM on June 6, 2007


In my youth, I shot and killed perhaps.... 50 coyotes. As an adult, I think that 5 or 6 of them probably didn't deserve it.
posted by bradth27 at 10:13 PM on June 6, 2007


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