By Tom Remington
As part of a predator control program, in which the Nova Scotia government implemented to “control aggressive coyotes, once again this year a $20 bounty will be offered for coyote pelts. The government intends to run the 4-step program long enough to collect data to determine its effectiveness. The four step program consists of:
"Hhiring a biologist to focus on human-wildlife conflict, training more trappers, providing a pelt incentive and increasing education about dealing with the animals."
Meanwhile, in Saginaw, Texas, a 3-year old was attacked and knocked down by a coyote in the family’s driveway. Get the details of the event here.
What is being described as “extremely rare” and not “normal”, blame is laid on drought and human encroachment as the problem for increased reports of coyote/human interaction. While drought, which can cause a reduction in food supply, and human encroachment play a role, I’m not sure that describing the action of these coyotes as not being “normal” is all that accurate and may, in fact, lead people to be less concerned with educating themselves about what is normal.
People, including officials, need to better educate themselves on behavior traits and all the aspects of what influences in a coyote’s environment causes behavior to stray outside of what we want to call “normal”.
Dr. Valerius Geist, some time ago, provided us with the steps wild canines will take that lead up an attack on a human. This behavior is actually quite normal. It’s the progression of events that influence the behavior of the animal that we should all be aware of. According to Geist, drought and human encroachment in and of itself will not cause coyotes to attack.
Once we all better understand and become familiar with behavior and the influencing factors, the sooner we can recognize why coyotes and other wild canines do what they do. From this we can be better prepared, which will result in increased public safety.