Global News, among many other media outlets, reported on the presence of a coyote in Kirkland. Residents have provided mixed opinions, with some fearing for their own safety, and others enjoying the presence of the canid. But one thing is certain – this coyote is being fed, and there’s video to prove it.
“It was following us back to my house, it seemed super friendly, it was trying to play with my dog,” the resident told Global News. “So, I went inside, got some dog food, put the bowl on the grass and basically, he just started devouring the food.”
Only after watching the coyote begin playing with the empty food bowl did the resident realize that his visitor was, in fact, a coyote, and not a stray dog. He stated he wouldn’t feed the coyote again – but it is likely, considering the coyote’s behaviour, that he isn’t the first to provide a handout.
Providing food to an animal will, over time, teach them that all people are a place to get an easy meal, and eventually lead to one form of conflict or another.
Even if Kirkland officials are able to successfully and humanely transport this coyote out of their region, it is highly probable that another coyote will fill the void created – and continue to learn from people providing such handouts.
Creating educational campaigns involving information such as the door hangers The Fur-Bearers have developed, and implementing enforceable feeding by-laws are two steps that are necessary to curb the potential for conflict. Otherwise, the cycle will only continue, and it will likely end poorly for the wild animals who are simply trying to call a place home.