May 11, 2008
KIDS ATTACKED BY COYOTES in the Los Angeles suburbs. I guess the Wild West is back. Better strap on a six-shooter. Er, unless you’re six. Still, it’s more evidence that David Baron was onto something. And the advice from experts in the article is stupid: “Authorities dissuade people from hunting renegade coyotes themselves and suggest that they instead make noise or throw objects to scare them from neighborhoods.” Yeah, a few yells and they’ll leave the neighborhood. Right.
They’re not scared of people because there’s no reason for them to be scared — why should they be, when the worst they’re likely to encounter is people yelling or throwing rocks? Some related thoughts on that problem, here.
UPDATE: Reader Chris Steinmayer emails:
I live in a Detroit suburb, that is relatively forested (Farmington Hills). For the past several years, Coyotes have been an issue. Peoples pets go missing, and we see coyotes quite often. Not long ago, my step daughter pointed out a funny looking dog just standing by the road – a busy street no less! I told her, thatâ€™s no dog, that’s a coyote!
They used to avoid people because people used to kill ‘em. Now there’s no reason to avoid people, and plenty of yummy reasons to hang around. There’s no magic about settled areas that keeps predators away. On the other hand, there’s this bit of advice from Shannon Love:
Guns are not effective against coyotes. More effective techniques include canyon cliffs, anvils, defective novelty items and non-newtonian physics.
Who says you canâ€™t learn from TV?
Well, for certain values of the word “learning,” anyway . . . .