Monday, December 20, 2010


I recently wrote a piece in the Sunday column about a wildlife retreat for animals.  One of the animals I met was a wonderful coyote, called Wylie, of course.  He was rescued several years ago,  being the only survivor of his pack that had been struck with a bad virus.  The column caused the owners of the preserve a problem with the bureaucrats who handle such things.  They were concerned that people would think that you could tame coyotes and turn them into pets.  This is not possible as like woves they will always be wild.

This is a wild coyote - the picture was taken some time ago by my friend Ann, who lived across the lake in the village of Fawnskin.  He looks fairly tame and in fact Ann used to put the odd scrap out for him, but make no mistake, like his brothers and sisters this is a completely wild animal.

We see quite a few coyotes up here in the mountains.  They regularly trot past my office window on their business, whatever that might be.  I have even seen one in the middle of Village Drive at midday on a Saturday.  They seem completely fearless.

But mostly we hear them with their distinctive howling - it's quite beautiful but very eerie until you get used to it.  They are very crafty too.  They will bring a female in heat around to a loose dog and then corral it when it leaves its safety.  I have seen skeletal remains after such an event.  So as I wrote in a previous post, if you're visiting the mountains with a dog under about 40 ponds, don't let it run around loose, or it could fall victim.  And also remember like everything else living up here, animals are not to be trusted - and that includes many of the two legged kind!

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