443: Good Coyote, Bad Rap

Defender Radio Podcast 443: Good Coyote, Bad Rap

Bad Coyote, the 2013 documentary that purports to explore the state of Atlantic Canadians during a cull of coyotes after the tragic death of folksinger Taylor Mitchell in October 2009, is available to view online. The documentary was released online as part of the National Film Board’s National Canadian Film Day this year. In the last week, several listeners, supporters of The Fur-Bearers, and friends, contacted the showto let us know that it was available for online viewing, and that the link was being passed around.

The write-up for Bad Coyote states that it asks if residents’ fears of a new “super species” are justified, or if they’re responding to fear mongering. While many filmmakers would have gone to great lengths to sensationalize beyond the title, writer and director Jason Andrew Young made clear efforts to provide some balance. This was accomplished namely through interviews with Taylor Mitchell’s mother, Emily Mitchell, who advocated for compassion to wildlife and an end to the cull, and Dr. Simon Gadbois, a canid researcher at Dalhousie University.

Though time is given to Dr. Gadbois, frequently his scientific-based statements are cut down to simple soundbites, and, ultimately rejected by the so-called folk logic of those who profit from the exploitation of coyotes, without an opportunity for rebuttal. Even the very question of what exactly happened on October 27, 2009, which led to the death of Ms. Mitchell in hospital the following day, isn’t fully explored – and that’s where our interview with Dr. Simon Gadbois, an opportunity for discussion and in-depth rebuttals, begins on this week’s episode.

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