Consumed by Coyotes
I hope, if any friends or family members of the victim in this story read this, they will forgive the headline. I’m not meaning to be insensitive. I just like alliteration.
I caught this show, KILLED BY COYOTES, on the National Geographic channel the other night. I’d never heard this account before, or if I ever had I’d long since forgotten it. It chronicled the first ever and only recorded instance of a human being getting killed by coyotes. The coyotes in question were actually wolf-coyote hybrids, the show said, but that fails to explain the behavior of the animals. It was suggested that long exposure to humans had conditioned the coy-wolves to lose their fear of human beings. I’m not sure if this explanation works, either.
I grew up in the boonies. We had coyotes everywhere. Many a night I fell asleep listening to them howling in the woods behind our house. I know from firsthand experience that coyotes are terrified of human beings. Even when I was a little boy and came upon a couple in the woods, they ran away quicker than I did. Yes, the coyotes that killed young Taylor Mitchell in Canada were part wolf, but wolves are also known to be afraid of people, too. What was it about these animals in particular that led them to the fatal attack?
Please don’t kill a coyote if you see one. This attack was an aberration. Generally speaking, coyotes don’t attack people. Unless you have small children or small pets and you let them run around unsupervised, you have no reason to be afraid. A shout and clap of the hands will send a coyote scurrying. What happened in this case simply defies explanation.