Are we targeting the wrong species with our message?

coyoteThey’re not very friendly. They don’t have the typical ‘floof’ you’d expect on an animal of their size. And boy, can they be dangerous. Please, coyotes, just stay away from people.

We know they like to feed you – even after repeated warnings and the threat of fiduciary penalties, they keep giving you snacks. So it wasn’t surprising to us when you gave one who tried to pet you a bit of a warning, as mentioned in the Calgary Herald this week.

Just because one of the dumb primates offered you chips, doesn’t mean others will – or that they’ll understand you’re just a little curious about them and like to watch them as they explore. They tend to panic and over react to simple posturing or even your presence. For now, it might be best if you do your best to give them some extra space.

In the meantime, we’ll keep trying to teach them not to feed you and then be surprised when you ask for more; we’ll try and explain that you’re thinking about your family and how to care for them when you trot past their big brick houses; and we’ll even try and find ways to make sure you have enough room for your own house.

Sorry about the way we treat you, coyotes. We’ll do our best to learn to live with you, the way you’ve learned to live with us.

Real, on-the-ground strategies and the latest in research and policy regarding co-existence will be presented at our 2015 Living With Wildlife conference in Vancouver on October 16. Click here to register to get your seat today!

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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at

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