Someone sent me an article about a boy in Washington that was nipped by a coyote. Apparently others had been nipped by the same animal. Since this is not typical behavior for a wild coyote my educated guess about this particular animal is that it was raised by a human and was then released when it got to be a problem for the person who had it. This happens a lot with wildlife and this is exactly why I never release habituated wildlife.
Every year countless fawns, baby raccoons, baby birds, fox pups , baby squirrels and of course coyotes are found and kidnapped by well meaning persons who don’t understand that these are not orphans and their mommas are close by. The person feeds them whatever they think would closely match the diet of this baby animal- usually cows milk or a cheap dog or cat food void of nutrients. They coddle, take pictures, show everyone and brag. Most of these animals will die due to stress, complications from the wrong diet or an “accident”. But many will live to become dysfunctional members of the wild. Countless coons, foxes, squirrels, fawns and coyotes will be released by their captors as poorly developed, tame animals with no survival skills . These animals know nothing about their own species and will seek out humans for food. I strongly believe that the Washington coyote is a victim of this action.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend has always been what I have termed “fawn weekend” and as always, I will stay close to home to field the many calls from the public finding an “orphaned fawn”. I will work hard to explain that fawns are left alone by their mothers as a protection. They must stay perfectly still to avoid predators, and they do avoid predators this way. But they can’t avoid humans…. And hunters and coyote haters are worried about coyotes taking the fawns??? No, humans are the greatest predators on fawns. Spend a Memorial Day weekend manning the phones at a wildlife center and you will understand.
More on Fawn Weekend coming in later posts…